2013 Bay Area
Saturday, May 18
Clear Lake Park - Seabrook
Registration 7am, Walk 8am
Team Spotlight: Zendy's Warriors
Hi, my name is Sara Zendehdel and
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was sixteen.
Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Within two months, I was on an aggressive drug regimen of multiple pills and injections that emotionally and physically exhausted me. In order to come to terms with my disease, I set out to understand exactly what was wrong with me and how my medications helped my condition. Learning about my disease provoked my fascination with the human body and how different medications work in various areas of the body. In the aftermath of an unfortunate diagnosis, I had fortuitously stumbled upon my desire for a career in health care.
I worked toward this goal throughout college, but encountered many obstacles. I struggled daily throughout college with joint pain. Every time I drove to a public area, I was judged for using a handicapped space—I was actually confronted by older people and a police officer a few times. I went through multiple periods of self-pity and asking what I did to deserve going through such emotional and physical pain. In addition to all of this, I also had a period of rebellion where I attempted to convince myself that I did not have arthritis and stopped taking my medications for six months. This obviously backfired and led to my disease rearing its ugly head. Multiple flares resulted in having to drop quite a few classes, and the steroids I was put on during flares caused me to gain quite a bit of weight and my confidence suffered.
In the end, although my graduation was delayed by a semester, I pushed through my obstacles and graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. I continued working toward my goal of a career in medicine, knowing that my situation would uniquely allow me to empathize with patients with chronic pain. Today, I am finishing my first year in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at Baylor College of Medicine. My goal is not only to raise awareness of arthritis in young adults and children, but also to do my best to raise money for a cure.
You can support Zendy's Warriors here.
Thank you for participating in the 2013 Bay Area Arthritis Walk, the signature fundraising event for the Arthritis Foundation. Every year, people across the country move together to celebrate those who are making a positive impact on the lives of people living with arthritis.
More than just an event, Arthritis Walk is a celebration of year-round movement. It is building awareness for this debilitating disease and raising necessary funds to drive arthritis research, education and life improvement programs; it also continues the Arthritis Foundation’s search to find a cure to the nation’s leading cause of disability.
2013 Faces of Arthritis
Arthritis is a life-changing disease and can affect anyone at any age. Pictured below are just a few of the 50 million faces of arthritis. Click the image below to read more about our 2013 Faces of Arthritis for the Bay Area Arthritis Walk.
Our mission is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases. When you join us at the Arthritis Walk, you're not moving alone -- you are becoming part of a community looking to achieve better health and change lives at the same time. We look forward to seeing you at the Arthritis Walk!
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For more help or information about the Arthritis Walk, contact Shannon Stricker at email@example.com or call 713/942-9063.