Venus Williams Diagnosed with Rare Autoimmune Disease

Venus Williams Diagnosed with Rare Autoimmune Disease

Venus Williams has just dropped out of the U.S. Open because she has a rare and incurable disease.

Williams appeared on Good Morning America to reveal she suffers from Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes swollen joints, muscle pain, and debilitating fatigue.

"It's just been a really emotional journey," she said. "For many, many years I always felt like no matter how much I trained, I never had stamina. And so, I would go to the doctor and say, 'I don't feel like I can get in shape.' "  

There is no known cure for the disease, and the 31-year-old also revealed she is starting to lose feeling in her hands.

"I would miss shots by feet and I just couldn't feel my hands and my hands would hurt while I was playing."

Williams was schedule to play in the U.S. Open on August 31st, but just minutes before the game she dropped out. She says she had no other choice.

"I had a tough practice and I was just sitting there and it was taking effort to lift my arms," she said.

Williams is undergoing treatment to make the disease manageable. She vows to one day return to the court.
"It makes me get up and want to fight harder everyday," she said.