Venus Williams Withdraws from U.S. Open due to Rare Disease Diagnosis

| September 1, 2011 | 0 Comments


This morning tennis sensation, Venus Williams sat down with Good Morning America’s Elizabeth Vargas to open up about her diagnosis with the rare autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s Disease. The diagnosis forced Williams to withdraw from the U.S. Open just months after her sister, Serena Williams was diagnosed with blood clots in her lungs. Video inside.

Sjogren’s disease is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its’ own healthy tissues. Some of the symptoms include fatigue, dry mouth, dry eyes and joint pain. Williams made it known that deciding to drop out of the U.S. Open was far from an easy decision. “… I just felt like, ‘Okay, I could walk out on the court. I’m a tough woman, I’m a tough athlete, I’ve played through a lot of things.’ But what kind of match it would be?” she said. “It was a tough decision, but at the same time I’ve had to come to accept what I’m going through.” said Williams.

Although there is no cure for Sjogren’s disease, there are treatment options. “Sjogren’s is something you live with your whole life,” Williams said. “The good news for me is now I know what’s happening after spending years not knowing… I feel like I can get better and move on.”

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