Actress Simenona Martinez will be taking the stage next month, and it won’t involve rehearsing lines or coming in on her cue, she’ll be speaking straight from the heart.
The 23-year-old will be speaking at For Grace’s 6th Annual Women in Pain Conference: “For Women In Pain, By Women In Pain,” which will take place in Los Angeles on September 13.
“I think it is important to speak out about difficulties that we face in life so that we can connect with others and perhaps inspire and encourage others who deal with the same or similar issues,” she said.
The “Alex Cross” star said she knows there are many women out there who are dealing with chronic pain, and she knows first hand what that feels like. At 16, Martinez was diagnosed with Lupus. According to the New York State Department of Health, Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that is capable of damaging any organ of the human body. If the disease goes untreated, it can be fatal.
“I thought it would be the end of my life,” she said. “Since then, I have learned to cope better with the symptoms and be more proactive with the disease.”
As a first-time speaker at the conference, Martinez says her goal is to leave the audience filled with hope.
“Chronic pain often comes with a feeling of hopelessness, and I want to portray that even in the most difficult times, there is always hope,” she said. “There is hope in knowing that doctors and researchers are working to find a cure. There is hope in knowing that new medicines and treatments are approved every year, and there is hope knowing that people do care.”
She said that Lupus and Fibromyalgia are often misunderstood by the public, and many are not aware of how common the effects are.
“[Lupus and Fibromyalgia] are issues that are very close to my heart,” she said. “It is important to increase awareness so that more attention can be given to these diseases to help researchers find better treatments and hopefully cures within the near future.”
Martinez recently released three public service announcements in hopes to increase awareness about Lupus and screenings for newborn babies, which will benefit SaveBabies.org and many Lupus organizations. She is also currently working on her memoir “The Praying Tree,” along with new music and movies. Keep up with Simenona at www.simenonamartinez.com.