BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Life tends to change course when we least expect it. That was the case for Doris Chenier ten years ago.
“I was diagnosed with rare disease pemphigus vulgaris. When I was diagnosed with the disease, it changed my world. They gave me one year to live,” said Chenier.
Pemphigus Vulgaris is a rare autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissues, causing painful blistering all over the body.
Chenier said everyday has been a battle since the diagnosis. However, she said the pain feels now isn’t worse than her memories of hearing that she had such little time left with her family.
“You don’t know what’s behind the smile. The tears come from trying to be strong for the world and not let anyone seeing your weakness,” said Chenier.
But there’s nothing weak about the 60-year-old grandmother, who undergoes weekly chemotherapy treatments to control the disease.
Chenier said, since the diagnosis, she has decided to begin living out the dreams she kept on hold for most of her life. In December of 2018 she graduated from Southern University with a degree in psychology.
Chenier was recently accepted to graduate school at LSU where she studies non-profit administration.
“After the one year I wasn’t dead. I looked up and I was praying one day, and I said do not want my family, my children, and my grandchildren to remember me in this state,” said Chenier.
Chenier said she instead wants her loved ones to remember her as the fighter and survivor she truly is.