When I was 6 years old, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. The diagnosis came as an absolute shock to my family and I; we never thought that the symptoms I felt could be assessed as such a frightening disease. Among the most prevalent symptoms I experienced were severe inflammation in my joints, particularly my knees, as well as frequent episodes of overwhelming fatigue. The disease severely altered my family and I's perception of my own physical ablilities, and isolated myself into thinking that I would never be able to fit in. At school, I was mortified by the prospect of any and all physical activity. I always came in last place, was always picked last, and was constantly treated differently by my peers. I kept my arthritis a secret because of embarrassment.
On November 4 2018, I will be running the TCS New York City Marathon on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation. After countless hours of physical therapy, examination, and research, I have overcome virtually all of my previous symptoms and no longer take medication. I am running to prove to myself and others that no obstacle should ever limit the perception of your own abilities, no matter how daunting it may seem. With time, no dream is too big.
All donations will go towards research and resources to help minimize the impact Arthritis has on roughly 350 million people worldwide. Every dollar counts.
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