Sheryl Goes The Extra Mile For Arthritis Research

Sheryl Goes The Extra Mile For Arthritis Research

This upcoming May, Sheryl Allen will be going the extra mile for arthritis research – 26.2 miles, to be exact.

Hailing from Western New York, Sheryl, 45, will be competing in her very first marathon on May 24 after battling rheumatoid arthritis for over a decade. Not only is she thrilled to be competing, but she’ll also be representing the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Racing For a Cure team as she raises money for arthritis research.

When Sheryl was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 34, the news came as a complete shock to her. She had been experiencing periodic inflammation in her fingers and did not think her symptoms were an indication of a serious condition. Sheryl’s mother, who also has an autoimmune disease, became quite concerned and urged Sheryl to see a rheumatologist, who eventually diagnosed her with rheumatoid arthritis.

Despite her serious diagnosis, Sheryl proved to be a fundraising hero ever since she began running five years ago. Having competed in nearly two dozen races, nearly all of her events served as fundraisers for various charities. Last year, in one of her most successful fundraising campaigns, Sheryl ran a half-marathon and raised nearly $4,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“I saw an opportunity to raise awareness, optimism, and to make all those miles count for way more than just a running log,” she said.

No one would guess from Sheryl’s active lifestyle how much she actually suffers from her disease, which unfortunately, is just as active as Sheryl herself. Over the last decade, she has gone through a frustrating trial and error period with three different medications failing her. After she experienced side effects and no pain relief from each of the medications, she revealed that she is not optimistic that her current one will help to relieve her pain either.

Sheryl Allen Racing For A Cure

In addition to her disease, Sheryl is also a busy wife and mother to four boys, is training for her impending marathon, and often feels exhausted since she is also dealing with chronic arthritis pain. She says she suffers from “stifling fatigue” and depression, both of which are common symptoms among arthritis patients. Because of the struggles she’s going through, she believes future research studies should be focused on how to better equip patients to manage conditions like depression and fatigue.

Sheryl’s fundraising has had a positive impact on the lives of countless people, and thus, she feels a profound sense of purpose and achievement by competing in her races.

“My races make me feel [like] part of the solution,” she said. “They make me feel vital, they make me feel accomplished, and they make me feel like I’m making a difference.”

To continue making a difference in the arthritis community, Sheryl joined Racing For a Cure to raise money for The Arthritis National Research Foundation, a cause she believes in that will hopefully bring about new treatments to combat arthritis symptoms for all those suffering.

“Move, try new things, be involved,” she recommended. “You may need to reinvent your hobbies, your tactics, your life. But it’s worth it. I handle [my limitations] with humor and move on.”

Sheryl is thankful to her family for being supportive when she needs them and affectionately referred to her husband and four children as her “foundation.”

As she begins her marathon fundraising campaign while continuing to battle rheumatoid arthritis, Sheryl is ready to face the challenging road ahead of her, head-on, because she’s proven that when faced with challenges, she’s not afraid to go the extra mile.

“Hopefully I will spread a little awareness about my illness, inspire a couple people to maybe take a chance, rouse even more people to open their checkbooks, and spark people’s emotions in what I hope to be an impassioned journey.”

Have you ever raced for charity? Tell us about your most meaningful fundraiser in the comments below, and if you haven’t already, be sure to join Racing For a Cure!

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!

1 Comment
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    Posted at 18:18h, 09 January Reply

    I do not have arthritis but do have a rheumatic disease called Scleroderma also known as CREST. where the skin hardens and so do the internal organs.Same story as Kyle,meds helped a bit and then stopped and I was given less than a years to live.
    A friend told me that she had seen a book about Dr. Thomas McFurson Brown and the antibiotic protocol for rheumatic diseases.I bought it,showed it to my family doctor who said”Nothing ventured,nothing gained” and gave me a precription with the caviat that I learn all about it as he had no time.I made the mistake of telling my rheumatologist about this and he threatened to stop caring for me.I knew I needed constant testing so I agreed.Needless to say,I stayed on the protocol and never told him the truth.
    It took around a year for my skin to soften,for the nausea,acid reflux to leave.The pain was virtually gone but my hands were still twisted into claws.It took almost 4 years to get them back to normal.
    If it was not for the help of the Roadback Foundation’s volunteers I would have given up by year two.I was in full remission but each time I tried to stop taking the minocycline the darn disease would come back.That is when one of the volunteers mentioned Lyme disease and that it could mimic or cause 100 plus rheumatic diseases.That 300,000 people in the U.S get it each year.If a person has a great immune system he can fight it off but that others cannot.
    Next came the very difficult protocol for Lyme that can use many antibiotics,diet and assorted supplements to control it..As of last March we now know that once you get Lyme you can never get rid of it,only control it.
    Today I am living a normal life without pain and minimal doses of antibiotics

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