Walk for Lupus with Torrance Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon Boxx

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Torrance’s Shannon Boxx overcame a serious disease to become a three-time Olympian, a personal milestone she celebrated after the USWNT victory in London with 100 friends of family during the game against Australia at Home Depot Center last month. (Photo by Staff Photographer Sean Hiller).

I’ve known Torrance’s Shannon Boxx now for almost 10 years, dating back to her selection for the 2003 World Cup team, a competition that was moved to the U.S. after the SARS scare in China.

She became the first and so far only woman to make a World Cup squad after being previously uncapped, an accomplishment that is a testament to her drive and determination as much as her skill and physical attributes.

It’s that sort of determination that led a child raised by a single mother (her sister won an Olympic gold in softball, too) to earn a scholarship to Notre Dame and to become the world’s dominant defensive midfielder for most of the last 10 years.

She also needed that sheer willpower to help her deal with the sometimes debilitating auto-immune disease lupus, while maintaining a career as a world class athlete:

“It’s a disease of flare-ups, so the majority of the team I feel great,” Shannon told me after the U.S.-Australia game at Home Depot Center. “It’s just those moments when flare-ups happen you can be down and out to the point where you can’t get off the couch. So there are definitely moments I have to change my routine a little bit.

“But overall I’ve been very lucky and very blessed that it hasn’t hit me to the point where I can’t play anymore.”

(You can hear Shannon talk more about her battle with lupus here).

Shannon and Team Boxx (it looks like USWNT striker Abby Wambach, Hermosa Beach resident, is also a team member) will participate in the Walk for Lupus Saturday at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

You can sign up to walk with Team Boxx on the day of the event or simply walk in spirit by pledging to the cause.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!