We were enjoying a view of beautiful Portland, Ore. one recent Saturday evening from a restaurant-bar on the 30th floor of a downtown skyscraper, when three nice people asked if they could share our booth.
“Of course,” we said, introducing ourselves. We swapped questions and answers with them, a young couple and the woman’s charming mother. It was a casual Q&A — “Where are you from, what do you do?” That sort of pleasant, polite chat.
Their interest level increased when I told them that among other things, I write a column for the “Dunwoody Crier.”
“Dunwoody?” the 30-something woman asked with a brilliant smile. “The Dunwoody? In Georgia?”
Turns out our new friend, Kelli Roseta, was born in “The” Dunwoody in 1980 and has great memories of her early childhood here. For example, it’s where she first got a taste of show business.
“We lived in a beautiful brick home on Dunwoody Station Drive. I went back and visited many times and always loved the beautiful trees and warm southern hospitality.
“While we lived there, my mom entered me in my first beauty pageant. I won! I was ‘Miss Baby Peach’ 1981. When I learned how to walk, I took my first tap dancing class at age 3.
“Then, I could be heard belting out ‘Part of Your World’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’ and my mom decided to put me in choir and voice lessons. I was hooked! I’ve had a passion for performing ever since.”
Lately, Kelli has appeared in several episodes of the NBC TV program, “Grimm.” Set in Portland, the show is a supernatural drama, which the network says “is inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales.”
Kelli’s career has included traveling around the world doing professional musical theater, light opera and working on Disney projects. But she also has a deeply personal calling.
“My main focus now is working for the American Red Cross and Molly’s Fund Fighting Lupus, for which I recorded a public service video. I am struggling with Systemic Lupus and want to give back to the community, hoping that one day they’ll find a cure for this devastating disease.
“It’s been a challenge with my health trying to keep up with the physical demands of performing at times, but, if you have a passion for something you somehow find a way to make it work.”
According to medicinenet. com, Lupus is a complex, autoimmune disease which attacks the body in many ways, including a series of “flares.” Often Lupus sufferers must avoid sun exposure and have medications carefully monitored.
Lupus apparently is up to eight times more prevalent in women than men. It can affect people of all ages, but commonly begins from 20 to 45 years of age.
Statistics indicate Lupus is more frequent in African Americans and people of Chinese and Japanese descent.
Some well-known people who have suffered with Lupus reportedly include Michael Jackson, Ferdinand Marcos, Charles Kuralt, Ray Walston, Louisa May Alcott and John Wayne’s son, movie producer Michael Wayne.
A good source for facts about lupus is the Lupus Foundation of America. Go to the website, lupus.org to find Atlanta area support groups and other information.