15 Athletes Who Have Battled Serious Illnesses

Professional athletes have to keep their bodies in tip-top shape if they hope to compete and have long careers. However, athletes are just as vulnerable as the rest of us when it comes to serious, and sometimes life-threatening, diseases and illnesses. On this list, we’re going to be covering some of the most famous athletes of all time who have battled (or in some cases continue to battle) serious illnesses. It’s an interesting read, that’s for sure, but it should also serve as a reminder to get regular check-ups. As you’ll see, some of these illnesses are more common than you might expect, and early detection can mean the difference between life and death.

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1. Venus Williams

Unless you pay a lot of attention to the sport of tennis, you may not know that Venus Williams has been living with a rather obscure illness for many years now. That illness is called Sjoren’s Syndrome, and was actually the reason she had to pull out of the 2011 US Open. Sjoren’s Syndrome affects the mucus-secreting glands of the body, leading to a tremendous amount of joint pain when untreated.

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