High School Track Star Overcomes Lupus to Compete with the Best
Being diagnosed with lupus can mean a lifetime of sacrifices and giving up your favorite hobbies and activities. But, for Taylor Robertson, lupus was only a barrier she needed to learn how to overcome. Instead of letting the disease take control, this track star refused to give up her passion and worked through her chronic pain to succeed on her team.
At just 15 years old, Robertson began suffering most of lupus's most common symptoms. She experienced painful joints and sore muscles. She felt tired most of the time and was extremely sensitive to the sun. When the symptoms first started to appear, they were often dismissed. While her symptoms were appearing, she was shifting sports: from being in gymnastics and cheerleading to going into track and field. Everyone chalked up her symptoms as her body adjusting to a new, physically demanding sport.
Eventually, the pain became chronic and felt like more than strained muscles. During a summer vacation to Myrtle Beach, Robertson suffered serious sunburn that her family thought to be sun poisoning. She went to her family doctor who reviewed her symptoms, and later sent Robertson to a specialist for a second opinion. Her doctor knew that something wasn't right.
After a series of tests, it was confirmed that Robertson was suffering from lupus, which was causing her body to be in pain and physically exhausted. The condition also wasn't allowing her body to get into shape. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects as many as 1.5 million people in the US alone. The majority of patients are women of childbearing age. Lupus has a wide variety of symptoms and affects every patient differently. There are varying degrees of the disease and depending on the type of lupus, different parts of the body are affected.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus, but researchers are working to improve current treatment methods and learning more about the disease. Symptoms can cause complications to major organs, which can cause serious health issues, like kidney failure or even heart attacks.
Lupus has been in the limelight because of celebrities coming out with their own personal battles and experiences with lupus. From Selena Gomez's kidney transplant, Nick Cannon's hospital stays, to Seal's iconic scars, lupus is finally being recognized as a serious disease that needs more awareness.
In Taylor’s case, the majority of her symptoms revolved around chronic joint pain, muscle aches and exhaustion. After her diagnosis, she immediately started a treatment plan that included medication and lifestyle changes. However, instead of falling victim to the disease, she decided to not let it hold her back.
She was determined to become a track and field star.
Read on to learn more about how this young track star thrives on the field while coping with lupus.
Photo source: Jeff Gilbert/myDayton Daily News