Kathleen Baker shows us what tough looks like

While we’re over here proud of ourselves for getting off the sand and swimming in the ocean for a few minutes on our beach vacays, 19-year-old Kathleen Baker just won a silver medal for swimming while managing Crohn’s Disease — oh, and rocking perfect nails.

Doctors had told Baker that going the Olympics may be too lofty a goal given her health constraints, and she’s struggled with intense stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea since middle school. She also has to give herself injections in her stomach twice a week.

Still, she wouldn’t let anyone tell her she couldn’t achieve her dreams. She picked doctors who supported her, and continued to swim even during times when the disease was particularly intense.

“I found doctors who weren’t going to be just like, ‘You’re Kathleen with Crohn’s disease.’ I need to be Kathleen the swimmer with Crohn’s disease,” she said in a piece for The New York Times

After placing second, Kathleen was feeling awesome, and was super appreciative of all the hard work everyone around her had put in. She said,

“[I feel] so incredible! I mean I went a best time and just got a medal! I couldn’t even put into words how happy I am and how grateful for the amount of support I have here from the teammates and coaches along the way. It just takes a village for everyone to get me here and I couldn’t be happier.”

Okay, we’re officially tearing up a little. YOU GO GIRL!


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