June 13, 2017
BENEFITING: Arthritis Foundation
ORGANIZER: Arthritis Foundation
I'm super excited to share that I'm running the NYC Marathon in November with the Arthritis Foundation Team! This is an endeavor that I've been thinking about for years, and this year things just fell into place.
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 2 after my parents noticed swelling in my knees. I was put on a pretty intense medication regimine, and my knees were braced to ensure that my legs grew properly. Things were difficult for a while, but luckily I was able to be relatively active and my symptoms were managed with medication. As I got older, my doctors told my parents to make sure I was careful with my activities, and told them I should steer clear of any activities that put strain on my knees. They suggested that I take up swimming. I hate swimming. That was right around the time in my life when my parents divorced, and my brother and I would spend every other weekend with my father. My father is an avid runner and wanted to get us running with him. One weekend I arrived at his house and he handed me a pair of sneakers and told me we were going for a run. "Let's go" he said, and "Don't tell your mother". Those runs with my father, stepmother and brother became a family ritual that I looked forward to. I was discovering that the more active I was, the better I felt.
I am fortunate to report that my JRA went into remission, but in high school I was diagnosed with uveitis, which effects 10-20% of patients with JRA. The uveitis required quite a regimine of intense medications through my high school and college years and into adulthood, but I was able to manage the disease with the help of an amazing team of doctors and cutting edge science that kept the uveitis from causing permanent damage to my sight. Running has played a key role over the years in helping me manage daily stress and stay healthy, which has subsequently helped to keep the uveitis inflammation and JRA stiffness and pain at bay. Running plays a huge role in my overall health and happiness.
I am honored to be participating in the NYC Marathon on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation. I would very much appreciate any support I get on this journey, as I give back to the foundation that has helped me so much over the years. I am humbled to play a role in ensuring that cutting edge science and treatments continue to help patients like me stay active and live life to the fullest.
Thanks and love to you all,