Cassia Pelton was 18 years old when she first started experiencing sharp pains in her sacroiliac joints. She went from being a healthy varsity figure skater and university student, to being unable to walk or even sit up in bed. After visiting sports doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, and the ER, she was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis at the age of 19. Her treatment plan includes biologics and NSAIDs, which have helped immensely. However, Cassia still struggles with pain and fatigue, frustration as an athlete, and the social perception of invisible illnesses.
Now 22 years old, Cassia will soon graduate with an Honours Specialization degree in Psychology from Western University, and continues to figure skate and coach. She is committed to staying fit and pursuing her passion for figure skating, despite the challenges of AS. Cassia hopes to raise awareness of invisible illnesses in healthy-looking people and athletes, and to discuss the unique challenges of dealing with chronic pain while young.
Click here to read all of Cassia’s articles on AnkylosingSpondylitis.net.