When she was a senior in college in 1995, Lanzarotta was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an immune disorder that attacks the synovial fluid around the joints. The disease made it nearly impossible for the former soccer player and ski racer to continue an active lifestyle until a new medication eased the pain about nine years ago. But by then, she’d already suffered some permanent joint damage in the form of decreased mobility in her wrists and elbows.
“I can’t rack the bar in front so I have to hold it, which affects the movement. Still, I’ve been able to overcome a lot.”