I'm sure by now you've heard the news reports about Venus Williams' diagnosis of Sjogrens Syndrome. I actually thought that I had heard the report wrong as you never hear about Sjogrens even though it's one of the most prevalent auto immune disorders.
The teaser promos talked about how she made the last minute decision to drop out of the U.S. Open because her illness was "causing fatigue." I truly was heartbroken for her as it's been so life altering for me. I can't imagine being such a tough, physical competitor as Ms. Williams and having to explain how it's effects made it impossible to play well.
I waited to watch the segment on Good Morning America. There was a part of me that would cringe when I'd hear "rare disease" and "disease that causes fatigue" coming from the mouths of reporters from other networks. It's not "rare", in fact many have yet to be diagnosed correctly. Fatigue is an understatement. It's like having the flu every morning. I tuned back in to Good Morning America to hear from Venus herself.
As I was watching her speak I thought to myself how very graceful she is in finding her own pace in accepting her diagnosis. It was so very familiar too. She had symptoms for many years, was misdiagnosed until she was stricken with hallmark symptoms (dry eyes and mouth), she went through a period of "phew, I finally know what it is", then the "I think I've got this beat" stage to finally be ever so abruptly dropped in the stage of acceptance. She was taking it on in a graceful spirit that made her look all the more like the champion she is.
Suddenly the web was lit up with stories and info about Sjogren's Syndrome. Unknowingly I think she's been nominated as our new spokesperson. OK...I'm going to say it...I think she'd ROCK! In my head I have visions of videos created where she blasts white blood cells back with her powerful back hand. "POP!" go the cells as they scream "but I was only trying to helllllllllp!" My corny mind continues with Venus pounding out powerful serves of Plaquenil to calm the body's immune system. Maybe her sister can play double with her every now and then serving out Prednisone for when the body is really out of whack.
Silliness aside I really do wish her the best and hope that she's got a gifted team of doctors around her. After watching the interview on GMA I can see that she is understanding her new opponent.
To watch the interview:http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/exclusive-interview-venus-williams-explains-us-open-withdrawal-14427035
To learn more about Sjogren's Syndrome visit the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation website: