On Sunday, June 24, hundreds of teammates will join together to run and walk the 2018 Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) 10K road race to support Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH).
This will be the first B.A.A 10K that I run and I wanted to run for a cause. As you all know, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in early 2011. As a 20 year old I was simply devastated to learn that I had to live with disease that would progressively get worse and that I would have to be on treatment for the rest of my life. I felt like I was given a toe tag with an expiration date. My first doctor told me that most people are in a wheelchair 20 years after diagnosis. The first few years were the toughest; I was on various treatments that included Injections/IV Infusions, pills and more. I had a tough time getting through my ‘normal’ daily activities like brushing my hair and making my bed.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects your joints, tissues and organs. There isn't a cure for it, but there are a multitude of treatments that help slow down the progression of the disease. Most patients suffer from severe pain, swelling and chronic fatigue along with a decreased immune system to fight off infections. So, nonetheless, we are consistently sick and being sick takes a grand toll on us.
It wasn’t until a year or so later that I switched providers and welcomed BWH into my treatment; and my team of specialist are the absolute best. I always say that if you surround yourself with a positive tribe you should expect a positive life. In my early adult years, I saw my doctor’s more than I saw my friends and was at the hospital more than I ever partied; and I probably binged one too many Netflix shows since I was always at home. There came a time when I was hitting the 300 lbs. mark and my health was not improving; and I decided to act; I decided that if there was one aspect of life that I wanted to have control over, it had to be my health. If RA was going to control me; I was going to do everything in my power to put up a fight. Through flares, mental breakdowns and pain I began to work out and finally implemented running into my day. Running is such an escape for me and it makes me feel like I have so much control over my entire body.
Today; my disease is still active, but so am I!
I’ve always wanted to run the B.A.A 10K (and hopefully one day the B.A.A Marathon) and I finally feel ready; I am dedicating this and all future races to those who suffer day to day with autoimmune diseases and I hope you all will help me reach my fundraising goal, or go beyond it!
All donations will go to the division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at BWH:
The Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at Brigham and Women's Hospital is home to world-renowned clinical care and research of diseases affecting the joints, muscles, and bones. Your gift supports the division's work to improve understanding of the mechanisms behind rheumatologic disease and break new ground in treatment for these debilitating conditions.
Thank you all for your support!!