Eighteen year-old Lakeview High School Senior Alex King realized around her freshman year that she was a pretty darn good athlete. Three years later, she is a track all-star and has her sights set on grabbing a state title.
For everyone who knew her athletic parents Dave and Julie King it was really no surprise.
“She has the hurdle record right now so that’s what’s pushing me to go faster because I still wanna get it.” Alex said about her mother with a smile. Beating mom was almost a reality her sophomore year, missing it by only two-tenths of a second.
Then one morning her junior year, pain struck Alex out of nowhere.
“I woke up with a swollen ankle and I couldn’t even walk to the shower because it hurt so bad.” King recalled. Moms told her to ice and elevate it, but the pain moved up to her knee the following day and continued from that point on.
“I couldn’t run I couldn’t do anything; I would just cry all of the time because I wasn’t myself. It was just awful.” King said sadly.
After several tests, the doctor suggested it might be rheumatoid arthritis.
“I knew it was for old people I didn’t know it was for me.” Alex said jokingly. “We were just praying that it wasn’t but then it was and we were like we need to do something now because it’s moving up my body.”
At one point Alex was on 11 different types of medicines.
“I was just a mess; I lost 13 pounds of muscle in my left leg.” She added.
Finally, her family discovered that Humira shots, every two weeks in her stomach, helped get Alex back on the track and out of a lot of pain.
She works out twice a week at Acceleration Sports Training Center, 1140 Monroe NW, Grand Rapids and has been known to reach 21 miles per hour on the treadmill.
“She’s one of the toughest athletes we have, she fights through it everyday." owner Chris Davis said.
As part of Alex's senior project at Lakeview, she has to dedicate 30 hours to the community. For Saturday’s Arthritis Walk at John Ball Zoo, she has put together a team from her small town to raise money and walk for a cure. So far, they have raised about $5,000.
The public is encouraged to take part in the walk from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the zoo, 1300 West Fulton, Grand Rapids.
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