19 years ago, I was diagnosed with psoriasis (a non-contagious skin disease where skin cells are produced too fast and normally onset at times of stress or trauma). What began as a small, red and itchy spot on my arm spread to plaques covering 90% of my body in the course of a few months.
For fear of embarrassment, I stopped wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts to avoid being questioned about my skin. I even refrained from favorite activities such as playing basketball and running.
In these 19 years, I went through the standard psoriasis treatments available, from topical skin ointments, steroid creams and coal tar to UVB light therapy and sun tanning to even acupuncture and dead sea salt applications, nothing was long-lasting and most were lengthy and uncomfortable procedures. With the advancement of medicine, my doctor introduced me to subcutaneous injections and my skin began clearing up. However, in 2008, my finger and knee joints began aching. After meeting with more doctors, it was confirmed that I also had psoriatic arthritis.
With God's grace, being on Humira (an injected medication administered bi-weekly) has provided much relief to both my skin and joints. In 2012, I participated and completed the NorCal Tough Mudder. I ran my first half-marathon in 2013 and finished my first full marathon, The Walt Disney World Marathon, January 2015. My family and friends have supported me through these difficult years and I am on a mission to help find a cure to eradicate this disease.
I am asking for your help with a cause that means a lot to me - to make a difference in the lives of people who have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The purpose of the Team NPF is to increase awareness about psoriasis, while raising money for psoriasis research to find a cure. I will be running the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon on July 16, 2017 on behalf of the National Psoriasis Foundation.