Tennis - Former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki has launched a new campaign, Advantage Hers, to raise awareness for women with chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, and provide information and support to help them with their conditions.
Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018 and in a blog for the campaign, she details her frustrations at not being able to figure out what she was going through before being diagnosed correctly. "After Wimbledon in the summer of 2018, I felt like I had been hit by a bad case of the flu.
I even pulled out of playing matches because of it. My knuckles were sore, and I just felt lousy. A real ‘hitting home’ moment was waking up in bed and telling my boyfriend (now husband) David that I couldn’t move.
I physically couldn’t move. He had to help me out of bed and carry me to the car that day. Even then, I don’t think my family understood just what I was going through. After that, I went to see some doctors. I was told I was out of shape, may be pregnant, and depressed!
To be told as one of the highest ranked tennis players in the world, at the peak of my career, that I could be out of shape was astounding. I was so upset, and angry that no one believed me when I knew my body better than anyone.
After some hard moments like that though, I did finally, with the support of my wonderful husband, find an amazing rheumatologist who diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis."
Caroline Wozniacki excited to launch the Advantage Hers campaign
The 30 year old Dane said she was excited to launch the new Advantage Hers campaign and hopes that it will provide a boost for women to help each other.
"I am so excited that the news is out; and I can finally talk about the Advantage Hers campaign. Our mission is to bring together as many women as possible living with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, so that we can help each other build our own personal game plan to live our best lives...
After going public with my diagnosis, the best thing that could have happened was the online support with women like you who are going through something similar. I don’t know what I would have done without that support.
A lot of people in my world didn’t really understand what I was going through; so, to have women reach out and relate to it was so great. It’s why I want to give back to you all and work with you on gaining advantage over your condition; one small victory at a time."
Caroline Wozniacki, who retired from the sport earlier this year, added that she has accepted that she will need to live with her condition for the rest of her life, but is determined not to let it stop her from achieving her goals.
"Now, I work every day to manage my disease. I know rheumatoid arthritis will continue to be with me for the rest of my life, so I have educated myself about rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, and have established a long-term, evolving game plan with my rheumatologist.
Through the support of my specialist, husband, family and community, I have never been more excited about my future, including new roles and opportunities beyond tennis, and helping and learning from other women."