Venus Williams: 'I Couldn't Feel My Hands'

Tennis fans were shocked yesterday when Venus Williams dropped out of the U.S. Open at the very last minute, after she winning her first match and being scheduled to play against Sabine Lisicki today. Williams announced that she’s been diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that effects a person’s energy level and causes fatigue and joint pain.

After years and years of feeling the effects of the disease, Williams was finally diagnosed with Sjögren’s just a few weeks ago after her health deteriorated over the summer. Often times a diagnosis for this specific autoimmune deficiency will take over six-and-a-half years, and Williams says it’s a “huge relief” to finally know the problem. She’ll begin treatments, some of which will take 3-6 months to have any effect, as soon as possible and says she’s “not exactly sure what my journey will be, but I do know that I feel really positive about getting back on the court and being able to at least get back to normal.”

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