Bianca Runs Disney For Arthritis Awareness

Bianca Runs for Arthritis Awareness

Bianca Runs Disney For Arthritis Awareness

Bianca is a mom, a runner, and a loving fiancé, but that’s not all that illustrates who she is. For the past seven years she has had a partner in crime that she has fought with, ran from, and tried to raise awareness and warn others about. Her partner is named Arthur, a friendly nickname for a not so friendly disease that affects millions of Americans like her; arthritis.

Unfortunately, the exact type of Bianca’s arthritis is unknown, but it is believed to partially be due to complications of long-term undiagnosed celiac disease, or the body’s inability to process gluten. Thus, Bianca is treated like a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer until she can find a doctor that can decipher what the true nature of her ailment is.

Bianca Runs To Cure Arthritis

Despite her illness, Bianca is a warrior – and a runner. The running bug bit her when she started doing 5ks in 2008 and wanted to progress toward marathon racing. After warnings from her doctors that racing was too hard on her joints, she opted for biking and completed 109 miles of cycling in the 2008 El Tour de Tucson. But she didn’t stop there. 10ks, half marathons, and Olympic triathlons followed, in addition to other fun races. Because of her consistent good work and determination, Bianca’s doctors changed their tune and have recently given her their approval to run a full marathon in October, which is her dream come true.

But before she embarks down the road of marathon racing, Bianca is headed down a different path; the aisle! She will marry her fiancé in Disneyworld, February 2014, the same weekend as the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

After Bianca became engaged, she immediately researched destination weddings in Disneyland and Disneyworld. It was then she discovered the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge; races that support good causes, are fun, and give runners a bonus medal if they compete in two races in a calendar year. It was like the stars were aligning for Bianca because not only did she decide to plan her wedding around the event and love all things Disney, but she also would be celebrating a milestone birthday the weekend of her wedding.

First she will compete in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January 2014 at Disneyland in southern California, and then a month later will run the Disney Princess Half Marathon for her wedding at Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.

“I thought it would be something really special to get my wedding photos with not 1, but 3 medals around my neck and a pair of running shoes under my wedding dress,” Bianca gushed.

Bianca runs for the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Racing For A Cure Team so that the money she fundraises in preparation for her runs will go toward arthritis research in hopes of finding a cure.

Learn more about Racing For A Cure or to make a donation to Bianca’s fundraiser!

As far as Bianca’s training is concerned, she is staunch and meticulous about her regimen. She does not want to cause too much wear and tear on her joints, so she trains more like a triathlete and incorporates swimming and biking to supplement her long runs. She trains four to six days per week and totals anywhere from 30 to 100 miles in her workouts. Living with her disease for so long, she’s learned to train smarter and puts a strong emphasis on quality over quantity.

However, when she races, despite her well-rounded training, she says that pain is no stranger. “Part of the nature of endurance sports is pain and everyone goes through hurt,” she said, “and I think having this disease really prepares me for that hurt.”

Bianca's Family

Once Bianca establishes a rhythm for herself in a race and thinks about her biggest motivators, her fiancé and daughter, she always feels better and keeps herself moving forward.

“They believe in me even when I lose hope,” she confessed, “and that belief is what keeps me going when times get tough.”

Bianca’s ten year old daughter has expressed an interest in running and just wants to be like her mother when she grows up. And if Bianca was not excited enough for her big day in Disneyworld, she and her daughter will be running The Royal 5k the day before her wedding as a mother-daughter bonding adventure.

Bianca does not complain about her disease, and even when times are hard, she puts all of her frustration and energy into running as a means of coping. She runs races to support arthritis awareness and, through ANRF, to support research that will hopefully one day bring her closer to becoming even healthier and arthritis-free.

Contact KYLE to share your arthritis story!

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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