Greetings! I would so appreciate your help with fundraising for the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. April 2016 marked the 25th year of my being diagnosed at age 23 with Lupus SLE. To mark this occasion, I will be running in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon on November 6th as a member of Team Life Without Lupus. Not only will I be training like crazy for my run, but more importantly, I’m going to leverage all that training and hard work to help raise money for the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, a cause very near and dear to my heart.
I was diagnosed with Lupus SLE at age 23. I was in so much pain that even walking was difficult for me. At age 27, I was told by my doctors that I would be on disability the rest of my life. I learned that IF I survived the first 10 years, I might have a chance at a normal life expectancy. During the early years, I had a constant fever, severely swollen joints, kidney involvement, pleurisy twice, pericarditus, angina, and Lupus spots on the brain. (scroll down to read full story)
My doctors suggested many heavy duty drugs as a solution. I passed on that route. Instead, I began studying nutrition. I changed my diet and lifestyle, got a dog (Diesel) and walked 3K miles in 6 years, then became a runner in December 2010, a Spokesperson for the Lupus Foundation in 2012, and a Certified Health Coach and member of NAMP, the National Association of Nutrition Professionals in 2015. I take NO drugs, which amazes all my doctors. I have learned to manage the disease with nutrition. As I have become older; however, Lupus SLE has also affected my eyes, and there is the potential that I may lose my eyesight. I consider myself very blessed to only have to use prescription eye drops twice daily. Other Lupus patients I know are in and out of the hospital several times a year.
As odd as it may seem, if it were not for Lupus, I never would have become a runner. Lupus has taught me to overcome adversity. Running is all about triumphing over challenges and limitations. It’s a natural fit for me. Each time I run, I feel like I’ve taken my life back. It’s a WIN for me over Lupus. I had to take a year and a half off from running in October 2012, after being in a serious hit and run accident on the highway and suffering neck, back, and brain injuries. Still with Lupus and 6 damaged discs in my neck and back, I have earned 87 medals and 6 trophies to date. I’m a three time recipient of the US Track and Field’s Gold Phidippides Award for outstanding performance in long distance running, and my running story was published in Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine in October 2011. I will run my 50th half marathon and earn my 100th medal this December. I have much to celebrate. This video clip shows a bit of my health journey and early days as a runner. http://youtu.be/LVl6O0FdXmo
I so appreciate everyone's support in the monumental endeavor! I will be thinking of all my supporters as a run the New York City Marathon this November!
My heartfelt thanks,
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