2011 Country Music Marathon and Half-Marathon
Kirk Beckendorf's Fund Raising Page for Sjogrens
“My story with Sjogren's Syndrome began in the late 1980's. It began with an extremely dry mouth.”
Thank you for visiting this webpage to support my efforts to raise funds in honor and support of my mother, Nancy Beckendorf, who suffers from Sjogren’s Syndrome. Read her story below. As a member of Team Sjogren’s I am in training for the Nashville Country Music Marathon to raise funds for the Sjogren’s Foundation to support their efforts of medical research, patient support and building awareness about Sjogrens. Many of you have provided my Mom and my Dad (Sjogren’s impacts his life also) with support through the many years that Sjogren’s has impacted their lives and I thank you for that.
Donating through this website is simple, fast, secure and tax deductible.
Sjögren’s is an autoimmune disease in which a person's white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands; destroying tear and salavary glands and damaging other organs. There is no cure and it afflicts 4 million people in the U.S.
"My eyes have been of great concern for years. Many weeks have been spent on the recliner or couch with severe eye pain and my eyes covered with wet cloths. Two things that I put in my eyes twice a day are Restasis drops and a serum that is made from my own blood.”
Sjogren’s destroys the body’s tear producing glands, so the eyes have no moisture.
“Eye infections and eye ulcers have severely damaged my eyesight. I have to be careful to stay out of the wind and wear dark shades in the sun. I never know when an eye problem will cause excruciating pain- imagine sand paper in your eyes.”
Sjogren’s destroys the saliva producing glands.
“My dry mouth also causes problems. Eating can be a problem. I cannot eat hot and spicy foods, and if I eat dry foods, I need plenty to drink. Without moisture in your mouth, your teeth decay easily. I have had many teeth crowned several teeth pulled. If I lose any more, I will have to have implants. Dentures cause sores in a dry mouth.”
Sjogren’s effects extend throughout the body impacting other organs.
“I have had a number of week long stays in the hospital due to complications related to Sjogrens. I have vasculitis and am easily fatigued, but I feel fortunate because no other organs have been affected.
Few things impact the life and activities of a marriage partnership like an incurable disease.
“Sjogren’s is also a lifestyle changing condition for the spouse. Early on I felt helpless when she experienced severe eye pain, had difficulty eating, experienced chronic fatigue, developed sores from vasculitis and other symptoms.”
Actions and attitude are critical.
“With all she has experienced, we still enjoy a full life together; being very involved in volunteering, church and service organizations. And we still travel. We just adapt and may go a little slower sometimes, always with a full emergency medicine chest, and even a small refrigerator for medication, but we keep going.”
Yes they do keep on going. The picture of them on this page was taken a few months ago while visiting us and hiking in the mountains of eastern Tennessee.
My husband, family and doctors are very supportive and are always there to help me when needed.”
Please donate to support my mother; and the Sjogrens Foundation's efforts in raising awareness of and funding research towards medical advancement in the diagnosing and treatment of Sjogren's.
View my training log here.