Walk Raises Awareness For Rare Disease

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STARKVILLE, MISS. (WCBI)- Saturday marks the last day for sarcoidosis awareness month.
It’s an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body, but mostly the lungs and lymph glands.

For now the disease has no cure, however it is treatable.

On Saturday, Shelly Clanton hosted her third annual sarcoidosis walk in Starkville to help spread more awareness about the rare disease.

“This month makes 19 years for me dealing with sarcadosis,” said Clanton.

Clanton said she first started noticing she was having joint pains in her body, and after the continuous pains, she decided to take a trip to the doctor’s office.

“I went to see the doctor and my joints started swelling too, so they diagnosed me with arthritis,” she said

But six months after being diagnosed with arthritis, she noticed a rash had appeared on her body.

“So I had to go to a skin doctor for that, and that’s when they did a biopsy on my skin, and it came back that i had sarcoidosis,” said Clanton.

Clanton said she was devastated and shocked after receiving this news.

“I was like uh, what is this? Because I’ve never heard of sarcoidosis before,” she said.

And dealing with this rare and uncurable disease wasn’t easy for her.

“My breathing was shallow you know, and i had to use an inhaler a lot,” said Clanton.

But just as she started to make progress, and feel better.

“It went into remission for like 6 months, and then it came back, but when it comes back it comes back worse, so it came back in my heart and in my skin and in my joints,” said Clanton.

Battling this disease is one of the hardest things Clanton said she’s ever had to go through.

“It was tough, I was raising two daughters, but they held me up, my two daughters, I was strong, being strong for them,” she said.

Clanton credits her support system for her strength to continue to fight and battle with this uncurable disease.

And now she uses her story to help spread awareness and educate people about this rare disease.

“I’m really just doing it for someone else, maybe someone was diagnosed last week, and they need someone to talk to them about information about what should i do, or we get together and just talk about what’s going on with the disease, that’s why i’m doing this, for that person that was diagnosed maybe last week,” she said.
Clanton has a sarcoidosis  support group that meets every two months in starkville. The next meeting will take place in May.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about the support group, visit https://www.facebook.com/shelly.clanton

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