Interview: Olympic Soccer Star Shannon Boxx Bringing Attention to Lupus – Her Greatest Challenge
Professional U.S. soccer player Shannon Boxx is best known as a member of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. She won gold medals with the United States at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics, and 2012 London Olympics. She also finished third place or better with the USA at the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
However, there’s much more to Shannon that meets the eye. She’s also a busy mother of 2, an advocate, and an active person living with lupus.
Lupus is an incurable, chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body).[i] [ii] [iii] [iv]
Shannon was diagnosed with lupus after her doctor gave her the news in 2007. She kept it private until 2012 (only letting her coach know).
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of the most serious and common forms of lupus.[v] With lupus, instead of the immune system producing normal antibodies to protect the body from infection, in patients with SLE, ‘auto-antibodies’ are produced and attack healthy cells.[vi]
SLE can affect any of the major organs and symptoms can vary greatly in severity and intensity. Some of the most common symptoms include debilitating fatigue, joint pain and swelling and sometimes, a butterfly-shaped facial skin rash.[vii] [viii] [ix]
Some other facts about lupus:
- Approximately 200,000 Americans live with SLE[x]with nine female patients out of every 10[xi]
- African-American women are 3X more likely to get lupus than Caucasian women[xii]
- Lupus is 2X more prevalent in Asian-American and Latina women than it is in Caucasian women[xiii]
Lupus patients suffer more than physicians perceive. Often, people living with the condition report difficulty communicating their symptoms to the doctor and many feel the disease negatively impacts their career progression.
According to Shannon, living with lupus is her biggest challenge yet. She joined me to discuss her health journey, the challenges she faces, and how she’s overcome them.
Shannon’s hope is to raise awareness about lupus and empower people living with lupus to remain active, independent and improve their dialogue with healthcare providers with tools and resources that are available to help them achieve their goals.
Take a look at our chat above.
For more information, visit: UsInLupus.com.