The sense of accomplishment you feel after fulfilling a goal is one of immense excitement and bliss. This feeling is a feeling you never want to forget and it is gone only after a few fleeting moments. Sophomore year of highschool track I ran one of the fastest races I have ever ran in my life at that time. The sound of crossing the finish line is a sound that kept replaying in my head. My feet came to a stop, and I could hear the sound of my mom screaming from the bleachers behind me. My mind blank as I rushed over to the time clock to check my time. All of my teammates ran behind me to see the results, and under the blazing sun I broke the school record and became the fastest hurdler in the state of Utah. Track is something I never want to lose, and the feeling I just experienced is something I want to constantly relive.
It all came crashing down in an instant. My legs were as swollen as a pregnant lady about to give birth, and my body was in pain like I have never experienced before. My season ended rather quickly, with me running significantly slower as my legs felt like weights holding me down in place because of the swelling. This was when we decided that something was seriously wrong. The summer was one of the most difficult summers of my life. I was going to doctors appointments every other week, I had bruises up and down my arms from how many blood tests I was doing, and after a final biopsy of my kidney and on the second day of my junior year I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis.
During the time I was diagnosed, I was supposed to be at my second day of volleyball practice. When I came back, my entire team was there to hug me and give me the most support I have ever received in my life. I told them the treatment plan, and that was to start steroid injections the next day and a round of chemotherapy (cytoxan) every other week to hopefully put my lupus into remission and to stop it from attacking my body. I also began online schooling the next day. The team was my biggest support system, as well as my mom. I went throughout the season, went to every practice, and played in every game. I was not going to let this new disease define me as a person. Finally my last round of chemo ended a couple months after volleyball, and onto track I went. Almost everyday my body was hurting and it was hard to get up sometimes. I threw myself into working out and training hard for the upcoming track season, and sooner than I expected track arrived. During this time was also when the pandemic of the corona virus started, and I had just begun to go back to school for about 2 months. Things were getting normal for me again, and then schools were shut down and we all went back online. It was an even tougher transition as we had just had our first track meet of the season and I had just ran the fastest race of my life. When we went back online I stopped working out, and lost all hope and motivation as my season was cut short yet again. During this time it was even harder to get out of my house because I still had a very fragile immune system. Each day was a challenge as i’m sure it was for most people, but I found ways to motivate myself little by little. It started with reading outside, or hiking with my family. I found things that inspired me and turned to those that I loved. I am now into remission of my disease and continue on each day, even though it can be a big challenge at times. I found strength and a solid foundation through myself and others during these times by simply believing in myself when I thought everything was lost.

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