Mangerton woman Angela Gregoratto thought it was bad enough when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 46 – then her 17-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the same condition.
The autoimmune disease causes pain and inflammation of the joints, but that hasn’t stopped Mrs Gregoratto signing up for next weekend’s Rebel Run Sydney to raise funds for research into the condition.
She is currently the fifth highest individual fund-raiser for the event, raising $1730 so far for the Garvan Medical Institute which conducts research into a range of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.
‘‘Organisations like Arthritis NSW do a great job in providing information and support for people with rheumatoid arthritis but it’s also really important that more research is conducted to find out what causes it, what triggers it to start,’’ Mrs Gregoratto said.
‘‘It was hard for me when I was diagnosed two years ago but I’d travelled, worked, had a family. But I worry about Julia and what’s in the future for her.
‘‘That’s why I wanted to participate in the 10kilometre run, not only to raise awareness that it can affect people of all ages, but to raise funds for further research which will help my daughter and others like her in the years ahead.’’
Mrs Gregoratto initially thought the slight twinges she was experiencing in her knees were due to the amount of running she did, but when it got worse and moved to her ankles and then her shoulders she knew it was something more serious.
She is able to control the condition fairly well with medication and other treatments, but her daughter has not been so lucky.
‘‘When Julia’s hands started to swell and get sore, I knew what it was straight away,’’ Mrs Gregoratto said.
‘‘Unfortunately she has not responded to treatment as well and she suffers with persistent pain, particularly in her hands, which makes it very difficult to open jars, tie her shoelaces and write for long periods.
‘‘That’s made it particularly tough for her in her HSC year but I’m proud of the effort she’s made.’’
Julia, a Smith’s Hill High School student, is now in the midst of her exams. She will be cheering on her mother, and father Eddy, when they join the Sydney run on Sunday.
Sydney’s newest running festival, at Sydney Olympic Park and ANZ Stadium, has something for everyone with a 3km kids’ run, 10km run or walk and a half marathon course.
To support Mrs Gregoratto, go to runsydney2013.everydayhero.com/au/angela