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My RA Story

On November 3rd it was the New York City Marathon and my 23 year-old son was running. I went to the city very early to see him pass just after it started. After that, I tried to go to the end of the race to see him again but the city was crazy that day. It was very difficult for me to take the subway and I couldn’t get there on time. Even though I got very tired and at the end I felt like I ran the marathon myself, it was worth it to see the happiness on the runners face for their participation. We as a family were very proud also.

I saw myself reflected in the achievements of my son long ago when I was feeling energetic, and capable of doing anything and I was in a good shape I started running but it didn’t pass too long before I had to stop when my back started hurting really bad. The lack of support in my feet due to clubfoot makes my whole body to be badly positioned and cause me pain in the lower back, knees, ankles, hips, neck, etc … My dream was to one day run in a marathon.

After I had the opportunity to be an observant at such a glorious event, it ocurred to me that I could still be part of it but in a different way. I decided that I’m going to register to run in the marathon next year in the wheelchair category with the support of my family. I know it sounds easier said than done but I cannot afford to stop dreaming because I have a disease. I am not a quitter!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Paul R. Hill
    6 years ago

    Hi Lily, Thanks for bringing back a flood of NYC Marathon memories. I’ve started 4 of them and completed 3. I missed 3 hours by 2 minutes and 14 seconds. That was back in the 80’s. Breaking 3 hours has been a dream I let go of long ago but just running again is still always there. I was diagnosed with RA in 2004. I’ve been in the hospital several times (no idea how many) with painful flare-ups. I’m just happy to complete 2 miles walking.
    I hope you will continue to share your experiences as you prepare for a marathon.

  • Andrew Lumpe, PhD moderator
    6 years ago

    Lily, don’t be a quitter and dreamer. Yes, RA may cause us to adjust our dreams but we can’t give up. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Mariah Z. Leach moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Lily – Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. I am so glad that you aren’t letting RA take your dreams away. I think with determination anything is possible. My mom doesn’t have RA but she ran/walked the LA Marathon at age 65! And my sister-in-law with ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine) rode her bike 525 miles down the cost of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles. And as for me, I have RA but I still chase my one year old around! I think you can do it!

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