Joanna Janowiak was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in September 2003. She had been feeling tired for quite some time, and her constant headaches prompted her to visit her doctor. Some tests and a CT scan were done, but since no tumors were found, she was sent home.
Her headaches continued and her exhaustion persisted, so she returned to the doctor. Various blood tests were done. Again, she went home, and the next day, she received the call that she needed to go to the hospital for a blood transfusion immediately.
She first called her husband Steve with the news, and as she was calling 911, she passed out on the kitchen floor. At the hospital, two days later, she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia.
She received blood transfusions and underwent treatment — and fortunately, she responded well. In October 2004, just over a year after her diagnosis, she was in remission.
With Joanna’s health improved, Steve wanted to find a way to raise awareness and money for research. So, he stepped up his triathalon training. In 2008, he set the goal to participate in two Ironman triathalons in one week! With the help of a professional trainer, he accomplished his lofty goal on September 7, 2008 after participating in the Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman Louisville.