I grew up in Champaign, Illinois. From the age of five years old, I aspired to compete in the Olympic games. I chased that dream training and competing in figure skating. By the age of 18, I realized I wasn't going to achieve the Olympic quest, though I did achieve great skill in the sport.
I attended college, earning my Associates degree in Sports Medicine. Having been introduced to the sport of speed skating while growing up, I decided, at age 22 to try my hand at speed skating. My Olympic dream was soon sparked again and I was training and competing. I became the US National All Around Champion in 1993. Was second to Bonnie Blair at the 1993 National sprint Championships, was National Champion in the 3000 meters in 1994 and competed in three distances in the 1994 Olympic Games. My dream came true! I made it! I went on in competing to try to make the 1998 team but missed it by one spot but during that last four years of training I developed muscle weakness that I thought was due to training. I retired from skating in 1998 but the weakness progressed to symptoms mimicking ALS and other Muscular diseases, after progressing to a devastating point, tests revealed I had adult onset Metabolic Myopathy, which is a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I don't create the enzymes that fuel my muscle Mitochondria or take toxins out. After years of trying vitamins and other nutritional products, I found Phyt Alive. My muscles are strong and I am now able to train with the intensity I had when I was training for the Olympics.
Now onto the present!!!!! Why am I running the New Your City Marathon for Team Ritter?? In 2007 I went for a jog. I woke up at 2 AM with severe chest pain that would not subside. I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. My dad's side of the family had a long history of heart issues, so I suspected this. A CT Scan revealed I had Pneumonia. I was surprised as I didn't even feel sick. I did develope symptoms later though and needed more antibiotics so I returned to the walk in clinic. The walk in Physician, Dr. Schwindt, asked me if I had been told that I had a dilated Ascending Aorta, that showed up on the CT Scan. I hadn't been told and didn't know what that meant. He imediately sent me for another CT Scan and Echo to measure it. It came back as 4.4 cm I asked what that meant and He told me it was an Aneurysm. The same thing John Ritter died from and if it grew and reached 5.0 to 5.5 cm I would need Open Heart Surgery. I researched Dr.s and was measured every 6 months. I found Dr. Lars Svennson at the Cleveland Clinic. He told me he would do my surgery at 4.7 cm due to my age, height and other criteria. Two years to the date of discovering I had an aneurysm, I was at 4.7 cm. On August 14th of 2009, at 44 years old, I had Open Heart Surgery. My Aorta was Fragile and Flaky consistent with a Connective Tissue Disorder. I measured, when all was said and done at 5.2 cm. I could have burst or dissected at any moment.
This is why I am running for Team Ritter. We need to raise the awareness in the publics mind to that of other diseases like Breast Cancer. My dad's side had the History of the Ascending Aortic Aneurym, however we were not aware of how genetic Aortic Aneurysms were. I have since had genetic testing to try to pinpoint the connective tissue disorder, which to date I tested negative for the known tests. More research and testing is needed and raising money for this research is of utmost importance. Is my Metabolic Myopathy connected to why I developed this aneurysm? Only research will tell.
This is a huge challenge for me and my goal is to finish. Please support me and Team Ritter as we run for awareness, Please donate funds to my Crowd Rise page.
With Phyt Alive Nutritional Supplement helping my muscles, A fixed Ascending Aortic Aneuryusm, I run strong! If you would like to visit with me more about my story, you can contact me at email@example.com
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