10 December 2007
There was a time in my life when I thought that I was never going to be sick. Well all that changed my freshman year of high school. It was about half way through the football season when I noticed a rash on my arms and legs. I was bounced around from hospital to hospital and nobody could seem to do anything about it even though they claimed to know what it was.(I was even forgot about and left in a hospital room for eight hours) All the doctors said that it was poison ivy, oak, sumac, etc. Finally I saw a specialist who ran tests and said I had Dermatomyositis. This is a rare immune disease that affects about 300 kids in the United States. They said that I was not contagious and that I could return to practice. Well the football season ended and I joined the wrestling team. I got into really good shape. Then about halfway through the season I got a “ring worm” on left arm and back. This through my body into a recession because it would feed the “ring worm” and not treat the Dermatomyositis. While I could not wrestle with other schools I still managed to work out and stay healthy. Later I found out that if I had not been involved in wrestling and pushed my body to the limit I probably would have been hospitalized the second time around. When I returned to the doctor they told me that the athletics were what kept me out of the hospital. The athletics kept the Dermatomyositis at bay. Because the Dermatomyositis could break down skin, muscle, and bone tissue they were worried a lot about it. But wrestling is what saved my life. Not only wrestling but sports in general.
So when people ask me “Why do you do it Kenny?” I just grin and say because it is what I love. But under the surface I know that it really was my life to me. I guess you could say that it taught me to overcome adversity in many different forms. Adversity that came in forms of ridicule, health, self-consciousness, and pain. A coach once told me that it is not wither your win or lose that makes you a man but how you overcome adversity. That is what I believe.
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