Audrey Fights Back By Racing For A Cure

Audrey Fights Back By Racing For A Cure

Arthritis is a disease that runs in Audrey’s family and unfortunately she is affected with a type of rheumatoid arthritis. However, in an effort to not let her RA beat her and control her life, Audrey took matters into her own hands and joined ANRF’s Racing For A Cure Team to raise awareness and funds for arthritis research. Her determination to help find a cure is only superseded by her positive attitude and infectious optimism, both which help her in her daily battle of living with rheumatoid arthritis.

What are you diagnosed with?
Rheumatoid Arthritis as part of Common Variable Immune Deficiency

What treatment protocols have you undergone?
I’m currently taking Methotrexate, Enbrel, Sulfasalazine, and Prednisone. In the past I’ve tried steroid injections and Plaquenil.

What has arthritis meant to the lives of those close to you and yours?
My grandmother had RA, and I remember growing up watching her struggle to walk, do the things she loved, work at the career she was passionate about, and spend time with her family. But she never let it get to her. She was joyful. She loved us all. I strive to live with the joy she had. I am positive; I try to take everything in stride while embracing the challenges and surrounding myself with those I love.

What are some everyday challenges you face?
Each day is different. The unpredictability is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Some days I can’t walk. Some days I have a ton of energy. You just have to go with it. I am very fortunate to have a flexible career as well!

Describe your personality – a few characteristics.
I try to exude joy. I want to leave things better than they were. Keeping a sense of humor is key. Life is short – it might as well be funny. We’re all in this together – we might as well be as kind as possible.

Audrey Seitz Racing For A Cure

At the Arthritis National Research Foundation we feel research is the key to finding new treatments and a cure. This is why we focus our efforts strictly on funding cutting-edge research. How do you feel about the research underway and what would you like to see happen?

There is so much happening in the world of rheumatology and immunology. Since I have diseases of both systems – I’m excited to see research connecting the two. I just know that there will be new and more effective treatments coming soon – there are some smart, passionate and empathetic researchers at ANRF and I know they’re doing good work!

What motivated you to raise money for the disease?
As a grad student, I know that funding is everything. All the good and brilliant ideas in the world happen much much faster with funding!

How many races have you done?
I ran cross country and track in high school and then continued to run 5Ks, 10Ks, fun runs, and a half marathon in college. I was studying abroad my junior year of college in Malta and planning on running a marathon upon return to the states when my RA symptoms began. I still have plans to run that marathon someday!

What are your experiences with these kinds of races? How do they make you feel throughout the training process and then after you finish?
The longer the race, the better I feel. It takes me a while to loosen up, and to get my lungs and heart to settle into a rhythm. I often joke that I feel crummy for the first half hour, and after that I could run forever! It’s just getting through those first few miles that take some guts! After I finish a training program and a race I feel as if I can do anything – and that’s why I keep training and racing – it’s the best feeling in the world.

Want to join the Racing For A Cure team to raise money and awareness for arthritis research? Sign up HERE!

What is your training regiment?
Right now I’m doing a lot of cycling and swimming. Those work outs seem to be the easiest on my joints, and allow me to avoid unnecessary flares. In training, I’ve learned to be flexible. If it’s an infusion day, or a week of flaring, or a day that’s just plain painful, all bets are off. Either I cut the workout short if I feel like it, push through, or I stretch and call it a day. Nothing is ever written in stone.

When you’re in the midst of a race and you’re feeling low, what helps you pull through to finish?
I think of the days I struggle to walk, or the days before RA where I felt like I could fly. Both inspire me to find that love of running I’ve always had. My Grandfather was a life long marathon runner and one of my best friends. The look on his face when he’d cross the finish line is something I’ll never forget. I want to show others that joy. I want to finish each race I run for my parents, my doctor, my family and friends who have stuck with me through the victories and the struggles of diagnostics, answers, questions, hospitalizations and so much more. But mainly I run because it makes my soul so very happy.

How did you hear about ANRF?
I heard about ANRF through fellow runners who are Racing for a Cure.

What are words of wisdom you’d like to give to people wanting to compete in similar races and for those living with arthritis?
Sometimes you feel like you’re going to die. I won’t sugar coat it. But sometimes this life is exhilarating. While racing, take it slow, or take it fast. Find your pace. Settle in to a rhythm. Go with your inner pulse. Think about your entire day and then you’ll find yourself thinking about nothing – except for the current, present moment. And then stay in that moment. And you’ll find yourself at one of the happiest places on earth.

Arthritis-Research-Foundation-footer Do you have an arthritis awareness story to share? We share your arthritis stories in an effort to make a difference by giving arthritis patients a voice, raising arthritis awareness and raising awareness about the need for more funds for research. Awareness of arthritis and the need for research are key components to the quest to finding a cure for arthritis. Please consider making a donation today in support of this critical research. To share your arthritis story, contact us.
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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