Olympic gold medalist Kathleen Baker was diagnosed with a chronic disease at a young age, but it did not stop her from pursuing her dreams.

Continuing the Olympic Dream

Baker, at the age of 13, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. It is a chronic disease that debilitates an individual because it is an incurable autoimmune disorder, wreaking havoc on the patient's entire digestive tract.

However, the San Diego swimmer refused to let chronic disease hold her back. In her training session, Baker swam a total of five miles when she did her lapping.

The gold medalist swimmer is doing her five-mile training six to eight times weekly. But the work made by Baker could push her body to wear down.

Despite what she had experienced throughout her swimming career, she did not stop. Despite the pain that she suffered from the chronic disease that gives problems in her digestive tract and muscle aches during training, Baker was not complaining.

According to NBC San Diego, Kathleen Baker shared that the pain that she experienced starts from the esophagus, all the way through her stomach, running through her colon and everywhere in her digestive tract. She also shared that it is not an ideal type of life especially that aside from her health condition she also made sacrifices for training.

Moreover, the current global health crisis added up to the problems of Baker. Aside from the restrictions on her training sessions, she also faced concerns in terms of her health. She needed to take even more precautions to protect her already compromised immune system.

Crohn's disease sidelined the Olympian swimmer in the past. She was sent to the hospital a number of times because of the chronic disease. But this past several month, she only had a few serious complications before the Olympic Trials.

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Baker's coach with Team Elite, David Marsh, shared that the San Diego Swimmer is usually the first person in the parking lot and most of the time the last person to leave the pool. Marsh also added that Baker was the one who set the standards for herself. Not because she does not want to be better than anyone else, but rather her own standards are very high for her.

The former world record holder in the backstroke category is now looking for another category to check on her Olympic bucket list. Baker set her eyes on the 200 medleys, which she felt was her most comfortable category this time in her swimming career.

Also, Baker won a gold medal in the 4x100 meter IM relay and a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Baker said that she felt like she wanted to be a great story and someone people can look up to. She also added that she was slowed down by the severe Crohn's disease but she proved that she was capable of winning Olympic medals. Baker also shared that she wants to be the face that will be seen once people search online the word Crohn's disease, proving that it is not a horror story.

On the other hand, she suffered from an injury at the beginning of May after a walking accident, but she emphasized that she was still all in for the Olympic Trials. Baker was also guided by her mother in her swimming career while battling Crohn's disease, Yahoo News reported.

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