Now, think about this. You have a rare disease called Raynaud, which
is a blood condition that turns your hands and feet purple every time you
get cold. By the way, you have another illness called scleroderma, which
causes your skin to tighten.
Still want to continue practicing?
Homan, who is a gymnast at the Gymnastics Olympics USA facility in Van
Nuys, enjoys every moment of her training and battles the unknown causes
of her disease with a smile wider than the common athlete.
"It is just all fun for me," Homan said, while taking a break from her
workout. "Everything is pretty easy."
Compared with battling her two unique diseases, gymnastics training is
a walk in the park.
Homan was diagnosed with Raynaud and scleroderma two years ago.
Raynaud is a disease of the blood vessels, which limits the blood flow
from the arteries to the skin. There is no pain during an attack of
Raynaud, but the affected area of the body feels numb.
The hands and feet are the most commonly affected areas, because they
are usually receive the most exposure under cold conditions.
The symptoms of scleroderma are caused by the swelling in the tissue
near the affected area of the epidermis, therefore causing the skin to
Neither Raynaud nor scleroderma have a cure and their causes are
unknown. But that won't stop Homan from continuing gymnastics, a sport
she has participated in since the tender age of 2.
According to Homan's doctor, the best treatment is staying athletic.
"Gymnastics is the best thing for her," said Patty Homan, Becky's mom.
"It keeps her blood moving and it keeps the skin loose. We're hoping
gymnastics helps her. Doctors have never told her to stop gymnastics.
They want her to do it. [Teammates] don't treat her special at all. It is
not a handicap for her at all."
Kim Glass, who is Homan's personal coach, looks past the illnesses and
at Homan's determination to succeed.
"She will overcome her illness," Glass said. "She is very determined
and she is very self-motivated. She is very hard on herself. She will go
for anything I tell her to do. I have full confidence in her. She is the