Kirsten Conrad

My name is Kirsten Conrad. I was diagnosed at age 30 and have multiple family members with a history of Ankylosing Spondylitis. After having my second son, I started to have pain in my elbows and lower back. After ruling out other issues, the diagnosis of AS was thrown out. Throughout my life, doctors had told my father (who also has AS) to watch my brother, but I was not an issue since I was female. Needless to say, the diagnosis was a shock for my entire family.

After being diagnosed and sidelined from many of the things I loved over the course of the first 6th months of being diagnosed, I simply decided I was no longer willing to let AS control my life and ability. I started back with training for a half marathon, and completed my first half marathon one year after my official diagnosis.

It took some work, but I have been able to switch my mindset on AS. When I was first diagnosed, it took a long time for me to accept and move forward. Now, I use my AS as an additional motivator. I coach teams for both of my kids, work with preschool children, volunteer with our school’s PTA, and travel internationally with my husband.

Simply put, life is short and AS part of my life, but does not control it. I plan on continuing to live my life to the fullest!

Kansas, United States of America

One Response to “Kirsten Conrad”

  1. Dear Kirsten,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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