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Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, who shared their emotional story with the world in their film The Big Sick, took the stage at the 15th annual Lupus LA Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon, where Gordon was honored with the Women Achievement Award.
While presenting Gordon with the award, husband Nanjiani paused multiple times getting teary-eyed and emotional. “I want to thank the nurses and doctors, but most of all, I want to thank Emily. Thank you for fighting,” the Silicon Valley star said to his wife.
Gordon, who was not open about her diagnosis at first, was overcome with the world learning about her lupus-adjacent condition when their film went to Sundance. Immediately after leaving The Big Sick premiere at the festival, Gordon said she was “out as a sick person.”
“I had three strangers approach me and tell me about their medical struggles, lifting up their shirts to show me their scars, and I felt so overwhelmed and I felt naked, but I also felt recognized for the first time,” she said.
In her acceptance speech, Gordon made sure to credit her current doctor, who was in the audience, stating she has never been healthier, and Nanjiani for helping her through her journey. “I cannot thank my husband enough, who has always been my lion when it comes to my health.”
The writer closed by praising Lupus LA for the work they are doing to raise funds and awareness for patients struggling with the chronic autoimmune disease in the Southern California region. “It took me making a movie about myself to have the courage to start advocating for myself, and that is an expensive and time consuming journey, so my hope is that this journey won’t be as long for the other people who are suffering because of Lupus LA.”
The event raised over $300,000 for lupus research, advocacy and patient support.
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