Williams Opens up about Her Fight against Sjögren’s syndrome in a new PSA on Rheumatic Diseases
Venus Williams is a champion on and off the court, so you would never know that she suffers from Sjögren’s syndrome. In fact, she’s one of the more than 54 million Americans who have been diagnosed with a rheumatic disease. If you do the math, that’s one out of every four adults.
A recent study suggests that the number of Americans living with a rheumatic disease may be as high as 91 million when accounting for symptoms reported by undiagnosed individuals. Rheumatic diseases do not just affect the elderly either. Individuals in their 20s, 30s and 40s are regularly affected, and an estimated 300,000 children live with these potentially debilitating, life-long diseases.
Venus’s journey to diagnosis has been anything but easy. Like many people living with rheumatic disease, she struggled to get a correct diagnosis. It took six years of painful symptoms like dry eyes, hand swelling, numbness, and changes to the shape of her joints before Venus was finally diagnosed after seeing a rheumatologist. With a correct diagnosis, she was able to find an effective treatment and make lifestyle changes that got her symptoms under control and allowed her to keep playing tennis.
By airing the Venus Williams Back on Top PSA, you can help people get diagnosed more quickly so they too can take the steps necessary to get back on top of their health and improve their quality of life. Let Venus help your viewers put up a winning fight against these potentially life-threatening diseases that affect millions.
Rheumatic diseases are painful autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that cause the immune system to attack a person’s joints, muscles, bones, and/or organs. There are more than 100 types including: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, gout, scleroderma, and psoriatic arthritis.
Length: 10, 15, 30
End Date: December 31, 2019
Sponsors: American College of Rheumatology
Target Audience: All
Issue Area: Health, Chronic Illness, Community