Be You, Be Rare - Column by Brandon Hudgins

Brandon is a retired professional distance runner and the owner of High Point Athletic Club (HPAC), a running club and coaching company located in High Point, North Carolina. He works with athletes of all ages and skill levels from new runners to professional athletes in the High Point area and across the United States. Brandon was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis, the most common type of vasculitis, 14 years ago at the age 21. His goal is to inspire people to continue to chase their dreams after being diagnosed with their rare disease.

How much human connection is too much?

Living with a rare disease, by its nature, is isolating. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, a rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans. There are currently over 7,000 such diseases. I’ve lived with ANCA vasculitis, a subset of autoimmune diseases that affects…