Addison's Disease Makes Gafuik A Fighter

11:23 PM

The Globe and The Mail has a fabulous article on Nathan Gafuik and how he copes with competing as an elite athlete whilst managing living with Addison's Disease. Diagnosed with Addison's Disease at fifteen years old, Gafuik now finds himself headed to his third Olympic Games - in 2004 he was the Canadian team Alternate, and in 2008 he finished 17th in the Individual All Around final. See the full article: but here is some of what you will read: 

Gafuik’s mother remembers watching her son compete in China and recognizing that, finally, his disease was not standing in his way.
“I had never seen him compete as comfortably and with as much joy on his face,” she recalled.
Twelve years after his diagnosis, managing his disease remains a daily chore. At times, it can be frustrating, exhausting, and confusing. There are still times when Gafuik wonders: Where does the disease end and he begin?
“It’s hard to figure out what is just a characteristic of myself, and if it’s my condition that is having issues. Or if normal people would feel the same way. It’s hard,” he said.
London will be his last Olympics. He has put off thinking much about life after competitive gymnastics. The added stress might prove too much. But in a way, the Addison’s can also help, Gafuik said.
“I’ve had to deal with a lot in this career, not only being at the level I’ve competed at, but I’ve had to deal with a lot managing the Addison’s. It made me a fighter, I guess. I’m not willing to give up on a lot of situations. I hope that I can carry that on into my next life.”

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