Debbie Gustafson Ludwig My special friend for over 20 years has passed away. December 29th 2009 Debbie's life may have ended on this earth but my memory of her will go on.
Debbie suffered with the disease Lupus (SLE) Systemic lupus erythematosus, it is one of the many disorders of the immune system known as autoimmune diseases. The immune system turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect. In persons with SLE, the immune system produces antibodies against healthy cells and tissues. these antibodies, called autoantibodies, contribute to the inflammation of various parts of the body. The most common type of autoantibody that develops in persons with SLE is called antinuclear antibody, because it reacts with parts of a cell's nucleus. this leads to inflammation and damage to various body tissues. SLE can affect many parts of the body including the brain, heart, joints, kidneys, lungs, skin, and blood vessels. The course of SLE is characterized by periods of illness, or flares, and periods of wellness, or remission.
Debbie over the last 20+ years had this disease, but in spite of it early on we enjoyed many vacations and wonderful times together as families or just the two of us doing what girls do. I met Deb in a women's bible study through First Baptist Church of Lakewood, where our children went to school. We hit it off immediately and became really good friends, our kids all five of them were like siblings, her with her girls, Ingrid & Bridget and me with my boys, we were inseparable for several years, but as the kids got older the boys got involved in sports and our lives started taking different paths.
I will always hold a very special spot in my heart for her and her family. She is survived by Ed her husband, daughters Ingrid & Natalie Deb's granddaughter who just turned 3, Bridget (who found out on New Years day she is pregnant with their 1st baby)
It's funny how God works, the circle of life as we know it, taking one and giving another. My heart hurts now but I know Deb is in a great place "Heaven" (probably telling the Lord what to do) she was a wonderful friend, mother & wife. I will miss her and think of her often.
Debbie's Memorial service is Thursday Jan. 7, 2010 2:30 @ First Baptist Church of Lakewood.