Team Spotlights – by Joyce Lameire
Meet Leigh Costello! Leigh started her walk team because “I want to help raise awareness for AS that goes beyond my family and friends.”
Leigh’s story is one heard from many with AS “I was diagnosed in 1978 and being a girl, I got a pat on the back and a best of luck from the doctor who diagnosed me. I have done searches on the internet through the years and since no one mentioned AS again I figured the information on AS didn’t apply to my case. Doctors would know to tell me of any developments. But the doctors didn’t share anything until I ended up in the E.R. with chest pain in 2012 and then again in 2013. The doctors there recommended cardiology have a look at me but really wanted to me to see a Rheumatologist. I was shocked to learn how much AS had wrecked my body. I have had literally dozens of surgeries to correct what I now know were complications of AS. But I was so active that the surgeries didn’t seem too out of the ordinary. If only I knew then what I know now.”
This is Leigh’s first year participating in WYASO. She and her daughter thought it would be a good way to let others help spread awareness because “Showing support is just as important as any other aspect of helping me.”
Leigh has 44 team members participating when they can. She also has one doggie walker and would have had two but her dog “Ate her pedometer. Silly dog.”
Leigh hopes that if she “Can get only a few people talking and they talk to other people, then the circle of awareness grows larger. With enough awareness and enough involvement, more treatment options and even a cure will be researched. If I can help, even a little bit, then I will have succeeded by participating in WYASO.”
If you are interested in having your Team “Spotlighted” contact Joyce @ [email protected] or [email protected]
Joyce Lameire was diagnosed over 20 years ago with AS but was in remission until 2006. She fought tirelessly with medical practitioners to help her find some relief from the chronic pain that had taken over her body. She used her medical knowledge and research background to help her find different ways to heal herself. She shares her journey over the last several years by blogging(ankysponwhat.com) and speaking to groups of medical practitioners. Joyce works part time as a Speech Language Pathologist and enjoys genealogy and watching good sci-fi flicks! Joyce writes our Thursday Team Spotlight. If you would like your team to be in a spotlight please send an email to [email protected].