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Counselor Stories

Maria-Elena Hodgson – LupusLine® Peer Counselor of 20 years

Maria-Elena Hodgson storyMy name is Maria-Elena Hodgson. In 1987, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythmatosis and I had kidney involvement. As I desperately tried to find information about lupus at that time, I realized the only information available was either outdated or presented a grim future. I was angered because I did not have the information to help me understand and deal with this illness. more

LupusLine®, begun in 1988, is the only national telephone peer support program offering one-to-one emotional support and education to people with lupus in the New York tri-state region, across the country and internationally. The program links people who need the service with trained volunteers who have lupus.

LupusLine® team

Following a talk with our professional social worker, callers are individually matched with a trained volunteer, who shares the special understanding of living with lupus or a family member of someone with lupus.  New callers are encouraged to contact the Program Manager weekdays between 9am and 5pm EST.


Priscilla Toral, LCSW
Program Manager
866.375.1427 (toll-free)

In our members own words:

"My counselor was very caring and warm. She was always available to me."
Marilyn, Brooklyn, New York

"LupusLine was fantastic. I learned about my lupus and about how to speak with my doctor more effectively."
Naomi, Whitestone, New York


LupusMinder: A Free Mobile App for People With Lupus

Photo of mobile phone with Lupus Minder app.

Now available for free download, LupusMinder was developed at HSS to track medications, daily symptoms and appointments. Visit hss.edu/lupusminder.

Support Program Summaries

HSS offers a number of free programs that reflect our comprehensive approach to care for people with lupus, myositis and rheumatoid arthritis.