Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two days before Illinois Half Marathon

Article from the Middletown Journal -  written by Meagan Engle
When Deb was diagnosed with lupus that was damaging her kidneys, she was told most people live only about 10 years.
That was more than a decade ago.
Deb’s lupus is in remission and the once 300-pound woman is running a half-marathon — 13.1 miles — today, April, 11 in Champaign, Ill., to raise money for the Lupus Foundation of America.
“I’m in disbelief I can do this,” Deb said of the 2 1/2 hour run. “I can’t believe that it’s me saying it.”
The Lupus Foundation estimates that 1.5 million Americans suffer from the chronic autoimmune disease that causes their bodies’ immune system to attack and destroy their own healthy tissue.
“When I was diagnosed 10 years ago, I was told most people with the extreme to which I had kidney involvement lived about 10 years,” she said.
It has taken chemotherapy and a lot of medicine, but Deb, 38, is living a completely different life. “That was Life A,” she said, “and this is Life B.”
In Life A, the elementary school teacher couldn’t walk her students to art or gym class without losing her breath.
In Life B, she can easily run 12 miles at Smith Park.
“I’ve been just super, super fortunate,” she said. “I’ve gone from one extreme to the other.”
As she runs today in Illinois, Deb said she will be thinking of the people who have sponsored the miles and helped her down the “very long, tough road” battling the disease.
“I’ve always kind of thought that there was some reason for me having this lupus,” she said. “Now I’m feeling that this fundraiser and raising awareness is my reason and what I can give back.

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