Hello! My name is Katherine Simpson and I am 17 years old. I’m from the Raleigh area and just graduated from high school on June 5th! I live with my mom, dad, grandfather, and brother, and I work as a lifeguard at lifetime fitness in Cary. I am a Christian and go to a nondenominational church. My faith with God has grown so much since I have gotten diagnosed with Morphea. When I was younger, I was close with God but not as close as I am now and seeing the growth is just amazing!
When I was in 3rd grade, I became diagnosed with Morphea. No one in my doctor’s office knew what it was or why I had bruising on my arm that was black, purple, and blue at the time. Later that same day I went to Duke Children’s hospital and met one of the top rheumatologists in the country (Dr. Elga Rabinovich). As soon as she came in she was able to immediately diagnose what I had: Morphea, Arthritis, and Scleroderma. She told me and my family that I could’ve lost all mobility in my left arm if they wouldn’t have caught it sooner.
Once I was diagnosed with Morphea, Arthritis, and Scleroderma, I had to stop all sports which made me very frustrated because I had worked so hard to get to where I was; I was going into USAG (USA Gymnastics) when I was in 3rd grade. Additionally, I lost a lot of muscle mass in my left arm which is hard. Now that I go to the gym a lot my left arm is of course my weak arm, and I work twice as hard on that side just to try and even out the muscle definition.
One of the ways that helped me heal was a lot of praying (I was young so I wasn’t aware of how many people were praying for me but so many people prayed for me and they still do to this day!!) Another way I would alleviate my symptoms is by spending time with my dog and he would help by making me forget about the symptoms and not be in as much pain as I would be in.
Some times buttoning buttons on shirts or trying to grip small things can be challenging due to the arthritis that I have in my thumb.
Favorite quote: “If you put the first good 25 years of your life in you get the benefit of the next 75”- Ben Carson
Favorite verse(s): Proverbs 31:25- “For she is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future” NIV version
Ephesian 6:1- “Children obey your parents in the lord for this is right. Obey thy father and thy mother (for this is the first commandment with a promise), so that it maybe well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
The reason I put that quote down is because my mom has told that to me all my life for as long as I can remember. Even when I had to go through chemotherapy she still told me that and it motivated me to push through it. Proverbs 31:25 is a verse that I found while looking for good verses for women to live by when I was 6th grade; ever since then I have lived by that verse. Lastly, I chose Ephesian 6:1 because my mom has always told me to honor your mother and father. I try to live that verse to its fullest, because my mom has put her blood, sweat, and tears to help me get to where I am today; I couldn’t appreciate her more!
Find Katherine | @katherine__grace