On Christmas Day, Milwaukee lost a young legend due to her battle fighting lupus. 26 year old Shanisha Simmons was an incredible source of motivation. Diagnosed at the age of 7 with lupus, she fought a great fight.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body whether the skin, joints, and/or organs. With lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs foreign invaders, like the flu. This means In essence, it’s an extremely dangerous illness that is incurable. Cells literally fight against themselves.
Because of this, a person living with the effects of lupus isn’t fighting an easy fight. It affects different people in many different ways. Every day is different. On some days, lupus patients wake up without much strength to make it through the day. Sometimes their legs give out and they can’t walk or move. Because it can attack anything, there’s always a chance of illnesses, strokes, and so much more.
Shanisha was nothing less than an inspiration to so many of us as she pushed through her illness to give the world a piece of her. As she battled, she pressed forward living her absolute best life. She was an entrepreneur, making clothes, jewelry, and so much more.
As the founder of Creations by Shan, she was determined to show the world that it’s okay to be different. Her unique pieces spoke individuality and boldness. Being okay with your differences was a message that meant a lot to Shan.
Shan attended fashion shows, sold her clothing, and ran specials for her people. Her prices weren’t over the top and each piece was made specially, with love.
But her great works didn’t stop there. Shanisha Simmons was also in school to become a nurse. She attended MATC with pride. She had dreams of becoming a nurse that could relate. This passion sparked because of the numerous times she visited the doctor and when they would give her direction with medication, the effects weren’t accurate. Because of that, she felt it was important to become what she wished they were to her.
As a person, Shanisha was extremely ambitious. She was kind and supportive, loving and tremendously creative. Creating is what she did. It always helped her to stay in good spirits when she had long hospital stays and when she didn’t have it in her to do anything.
Bringing awareness to lupus was a passion of Shanisha because she knew that many people have no clue just how real the illness was. She even made her logo purple for that exact reason. Shanisha had dreams of collaborating with the Lupus Foundation to bring more awareness to the disease. She also planned to host a lupus fashion show this year. Her aspirations were so necessary to our community.
My condolences to her family, close friends, and fiancé. Not only was I honored to interview Ms. Shanisha Simmons, I am inspired today by the mark that she has left behind. I’m inspired to know such a powerful young lady who made no excuses. Her legacy will live on forever!
In loving memory… drop a purple heart in the comments.