Michelle Gadsden-Williams always hoped and dreamed that she would one day grow to be successful. The diversity expert, author, philanthropist, and Accenture lead executive has worked for years to carve a winning professional reputation for herself through dedication and strategic planning. What she didn’t plan for was a Lupus diagnosis in the prime of her career.
In late 2005, the senior executive constantly found herself feeling flu-like symptoms while in meetings and seeking relief through over-the-counter meds for months. When the medicine stopped working and her body started to feel worse, she knew something was really wrong.
“I started to really listen to my body when I found myself not being able to get out of bed some mornings,” Gadsden-Williams said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by Lupus can affect many different body systems — including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. This devastating diagnosis came at an interesting time in Michelle’s life.
“I was at the pinnacle of my career at the time and I was working in the pharmaceutical industry. I was the Global Chief Diversity Officer, my husband had just retired, we were packing up our home and moving to