Washington: American tennis ace Venus Williams is reevaluating her lifestyle and career and everything else she had once taken for granted as she battles Sjogren`s syndrome, a debilitating autoimmune disease.
Once the world`s top woman tennis player, the seven-time Grand Slam winner is rebuilding her career slowly with the aid of a new exercise regime and a vegan diet while struggling with the disease, which is incurable and is notoriously difficult to diagnose.
According to CNN, Williams said that although there were days in the beginning when she wanted to stay in bed, she however, realised that she had to get working and set herself a challenge of working a little bit everyday, as otherwise things would go downhill for her.
Williams also said that she is aware that she cannot be defeated by anything if she sets her mind to beating the odds, although she admitted that not being able to practice has affected her game in terms of speed and agility and has also decreased her motivation.
However, the American star said that even though she had lost a lot and had to learn many new things, she has never `laid down the towel`.
In 2011, Williams revealed to the world she had the syndrome, which forced her to withdraw during that year`s U.S. Open.
According to the Sjogren`s Syndrome Foundation, around four million Americans, of which 90 percent are women, have the illness, making it the second most common autoimmune disease after rheumatoid arthritis, and ahead of lupus.