Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Venus Williams & Autoimmune?

Article about Venus Williams possibly having Sjogren's (autoimmune):

Here's is an article that theorizes it may have been more than Sjogren's, maybe fibromyalgia also:

I think it will be interesting to see how this develops for Venus, as we all know how both Sjogren's and Fibro are life-altering chronic illnesses. It's hard to find celebrities who are open about facing such challenging autoimmune illnesses, and its because of the same fears that we all face - the stigma of not being well enough, not being perfect, not being able to perform to the best of our abilities, looking well but not actually feeling well. As a celebrity, sports figure or famous person they are constantly in the spotlight and are under an even higher level of scrutiny than most. So being open about a chronic, debilitating illness could often be a career killer for them, thus they often feel a better move is to keep it quiet.

In a way I feel it is a shame, as I feel we need more on our side who can use their powers of influence to communicate the seriousness of the conditions and the challenges we face, and to inspire. I am proud that Phil Mickelson has come out and been so open about his struggles with psoriatic arthritis (also autoimmune.) So again, I am very curious to follow Venus Williams and her health, I hope she can also (unfortunately) highlight the struggles of chronic illness and be an inspiration to understand and manage chronic illnesses.

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