2024 Lupus Walk Grand Marshal

Meet Candi Faulk-Penn the 4 A’s Sisters Lupus Club 2024 Lupus Walk Grand Marshal, born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. Seven years ago, she was diagnosed with SLE Lupus. Not knowing what Lupus was, Candi did not know what to expect of this silent disease. After being told she was diagnosed with Lupus, she found herself angry, asking God “Why me?” After finding herself in denial about this silent disease, all she could think was that she wanted to be considered “normal” one day.

Like her, many may not know what Lupus is, and that’s ok, it is not that discussed, however, she wants to share what she knows about Lupus.

What is lupus? Lupus is a highly complex autoimmune disease that can affect any organ in your body. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in many parts of the body. Symptoms vary among people and may be mild to severe. Signs and symptoms may include butterfly rash on the face, hair loss, fatigue, mouth ulcers, swollen and joint pain, lung problems, heart problems, kidney problems. These are some of the symptoms that Lupus can include for her.

Candi experience with Lupus has been symptoms of photo sensitivity to sunlight, unexplained bruising, weight loss/gain, heart issues, brain fog, mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal issues and more. After being diagnosed with Lupus seven years ago, it has been an emotional journey for her. Before today, Candi never wanted to share her story.

However, she came to realize that her own personal journey can be helpful to others and can make a difference. The emotions she feels regularly knowing that having to deal with a chronic illness with no cure is tragic.

Lupus is like a roller coaster, each day you will have your highs and lows. Over the years this disease has manifested into other illnesses including arthritis, Hashimoto, thyroid disease, Neutropenia, Osteopenia and otherunderlying conditions. Other stressors that she has endured are the many visits to specialists, bloodwork every three months, medication changes, and countless medical bills she incur from living each day with Lupus.

Don’t miss out! Get your tickets at https://www.4asistersclub.com/event/3rd-annual-lupus-walk/

Only those with Lupus will understand the challenges Candi faces on a daily basis. However, one day she hopes there is a cure so others won’t have to suffer as she does. Until that day, one thing she has learned through this journey is that it is not easy. Candi has learned to be her biggest advocate, have the confidence and hope for a cure, to keep her faith, not only for herself but, for her husband, her son, and a wonderful grandson. They give her a purpose and a reason to keep fighting and not to give up.

Through her experiences, she has learned to appreciate every day she wakes up and remind herself that she’s more than someone with Lupus. She’s a warrior, and she’s here to remind you that even on the hard days, Lupus will not defeat her, she will fight it. Like stated in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

The Grand Marshal for our “End Lupus Walk” has been announced.

4 A’s Sisters Club (Lupus) is honored to introduce the “End Lupus Walk” Grand Marshall for 2022; Mrs. Hester Catalon Thomas ❤️
Hester is a life long resident of Lafayette, Louisiana. She received her rudimentary education at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School and is a proud IHM Knight. She attended high school at St. Thomas More Catholic High School and graduated in 1989. She attended The University of Southwestern Louisiana, now University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interpersonal and Public Communication in May of 1994. In May 2007, she obtained an Associate of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University at Eunice.

In her first job out college, she worked at the University Medical Center (UMC) in the Social Services department. In Social Services, her energy and innovative ideas were critical in designing, organizing and establishing UMC’s Prescription Assistance Program.
Since graduating from nursing school, she has worked as a Registered Nurse in various capacities, including nurse manager of the post-operative unit at Lafayette General Medical Center, now Ochsner Lafayette General. Currently, she serves as Nurse Navigator and was hired as the first Nurse Navigator of the system-wide health organization.
Hester is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and is an active member of the Lafayette Alumnae Chapter. She is also a member of the American Nursing Association, Louisiana State Nurses Association and a Region IV member, and National Association of University Women. Hester had the honor of receiving The Making a Difference Award, Heart Of Nursing Award, Acadiana Celebrates Nursing Award, and Governor John Bel Edward’s Award for Service.

Hester is the wife of Fernando Thomas and have been married for fifteen years. She is the mother of 11 year old, Trey and 13 year old, Ty. Hester is the daughter of Anthony V. Catalon and the late Heddy Sinegal Catalon.
In her past time, she enjoys shopping and traveling. Family is at the center of Hester’s life and the love for and spending time with family is most cherished by her. She is a proud and caring nurse who is dedicated to her nursing profession, the individuals and community she serves. Hester attends Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church and remains a resident in the Upper North Lafayette Community that she grew up in.

500 Girard Park Dr, Lafayette, LA 70503

May 7, 2022

Meet Candace Josef Semien

Come meet Candace Josef Semien as she share her story with all of us….

Come meet Candace Josef Semien as she share her story with all of us. Listen,
Lupus is not a butterfly experience for Candace Semien, it is a wolf attack. Since a diagnosis in 2016, she has fought the wolf with God, family, and science. Candace is a volunteer with the Louisiana Lupus Foundation and a national lupus advocate with the Lupus Research Alliance. She works, mothers, and lives with lupus, Sjogrens Syndrome, and (recently) Hashimotos—which, she says, is not a badge of honor, but a reality.

Even as an introvert, Candace is part of a larger voice that speaks up about the crisis of living with lupus. She encourages honest and bold patient, family, and doctor relationships. She pulls and prods for ways to live purposefully while having limited abilities or disabilities.

A journalist by nature, Candace asks hard questions about lupus and shares answers that will improve the lives of people living with chronic, autoimmune diseases. She is an insatiable reader, senior editor for the Jozef Syndicate, and sweet tea lover.

Upcoming Events


April 21, 2022 at 6PM