One morning, on her way to work, a stranger stopped and asked if Nicole needed help. At that moment it hit her – what if this was her new reality? What if she could never run again?
Nicole has been a runner for most of her life. She ran track and cross country growing up and has completed multiple full and half marathons. A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in January 2005 was heartbreaking.
She started experiencing pain in her hands during her first year of law school. The pain continued for the next three years. After beginning her legal career, increased joint pain made it difficult for Nicole to do day-to-day activities, and she had to take a break from running. Eventually, Nicole’s condition declined to the point that she couldn’t climb stairs or bend and straighten her legs. One morning, on her way to work, a stranger stopped and asked if she needed help. At that moment it hit her – what if this was her new reality? What if she could never run again?
After several years of seeing different specialists with no answers, Nicole was finally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at the age of 29. Thankfully, with the doctor’s help, Nicole was able to get her disease under control and return to the activities she loved.
Nicole has now been living with RA for over thirteen years, and while it is mostly under control, she still has ups and downs. A mom to a baby boy, she sometimes has trouble with the simplest tasks, like changing diapers or snapping little snaps. And while she continues to practice law, sometimes RA affects her ability to get from her car to the office or courthouse.