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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 Olympics2008 Beijing Olympics, and 2012 London Olympics. She also finished third place or better with the USA at the 200320072011 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups.


Interview: Olympic Soccer Star Shannon Boxx Bringing Attention to Lupus - Her Greatest Challenge

image credit: twitter/ShannonBoxx7


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).


Interview: Olympic Soccer Star Shannon Boxx Bringing Attention to Lupus - Her Greatest Challenge

image credit: twitter/shannonboxx7


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]

Shannon Boxx

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.

Shannon Boxx

Take a look at our chat above.



For more information, visit: UsInLupus.com.


[i] American College of Rheumatology Ad Hoc Committee on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Guidelines. Guidelines for referral and management of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults. Arthritis Rheum 1999;42:1785–96.
[ii] McElhone K, Abbott J, Gray J, et al. Patient perspective of systemic lupus erythematosus in relation to health related quality of life concepts: a qualitative study. Lupus 2010;19:1640–8.
[iii] Danchenko N, Satia JA, Anthony MS. Epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus: a comparison of worldwide disease burden. Lupus 2006;15:308–18.
[iv] Lerang K, Gilboe I, Garen T, et al. High incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus in Norway. Lupus 2012;21:1362-9.
[v] Lupus Foundation of America. Statistics on lupus. Available at: http://www.lupus.org/about/statistics-on-lupus Last accessed March 2017.
[vi] NHS Choices.Lupus: introduction. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lupus/pages/introduction.aspx Last accessed March 2017.
[vii] Uribe AG, McGwin G Jr, Reveille JD, et al. What have we learned from a 10-year experience with the LUMINA (Lupus
in Minorities; Nature vs. nurture) cohort? Where are we heading? Autoimmun Rev 2004;3:321-9.
[viii] Gallop K, Nixon A, Swinburn P, et al. Development of a conceptual model of health-related quality of life for systemic lupus erythematosus from the patient’s perspective. Lupus 2012;21:934–43.
[ix] Cervera R, Khamashta MA, Font J, et al. Morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus during a 10-year period: a comparison of early and late manifestations in a cohort of 1,000 patients. Medicine (Baltimore) 2003;82:299-308.
[x] http://us.gsk.com/media/930780/gsk_sle-infographic_11_2_16.jpg
[xi] http://us.gsk.com/media/620446/gsk-aboutlupus-infographic-23dec15.jpg
[xii] http://us.gsk.com/media/930780/gsk_sle-infographic_11_2_16.jpg
[xiii] http://us.gsk.com/media/930780/gsk_sle-infographic_11_2_16.jpg

Shannon Boxx

Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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