About 20 years ago, in high school I ran track, sprints mostly but I had my schools 4x100m relay and 200m records for a long time. I had my oldest son when I was barely 20, but my symptoms weren’t yet present. I was an active young mother taking my oldest on hikes and adventures frequently.

Then slowly after my diagnosis at age 23, my capabilities became limited. I was more tired, less flexible, more forgetful. My health became more detoriated when I had my second child almost 12 years ago. Not just because of the hormones from a second pregnancy and birth but the stress caused from hiding just how physically and mentally abusive the relationship I was in. 7 years ago I eventually separated from my now ex-husband and the stress was overwhelming. After a huge flare up about 5 years ago I was left in a wheelchair for about a month and then used a walker for at least three more.
Lupus has brought me to the lowest of lows physically and mentally.

Yet still I rise. Every day with determination to make it through the day better than I was before. This woman you see now – I fought hard to become her. I experienced lots of tears, pain and heartache to get here. So when you see me smiling and enjoying the fruits of my labor, I hope it encourages you rather than the brings destructive self talk.

You are just as capable, just as beautiful and just as worthy.

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