Venus Williams' Illness Won't Keep Her From Tennis Forever

venus williamsIt's a sad day for tennis. Venus Williams pulled out of the U.S. Open just before her second-round match on Wednesday, due to Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease she's been diagnosed with. The tennis star shocked the world with her sudden drop-out, because hours before the match, she was seen warming up by hitting balls.

So, what is Sjogren's? Well, it's a disease that's typically triggered by an infection and in which people's white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Symptoms vary, but usually include dryness in the mouth and eyes, joint and muscle inflammation, numbness, and fatigue. No, there isn't a cure.

So, does this mean it's the end of tennis for Venus?

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No. Venus has made it clear that she will "absolutely" be returning to the game. See, after years of these mysterious symptoms -- and no diagnosis -- the tennis star feels relieved to finally know what's going on. She said that even though "Sjogren's is something you live with your whole life, [the] good news for me is now I know what's happening ... I feel like I can get better and move on."

Dang. That is one inspiring athlete. Can't say I would necessarily react the same way. Think about how hard it has to be for Venus, watching other people play, including her younger sister Serena, who is scheduled to play her second-round match Thursday. Poor girl.

But Venus seems to have her priorities in order and her eye on the prize. I think it's incredibly brave for Venus to come forward and share her news with the world, as well as take the responsible route and put her health before her job. Hopefully, she'll feel better soon and return to the game.

How brave is Venus Williams?


Image via Edwin Martinez1/Flickr

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