My name is Josh Becker, I was diagnosed with bi-lateral hearing loss when I was 18 months old, and I received my first hearing aid when I was 2 years old. In 1988 at the age of 8, I was also diagnosed with idiopathic hypoparathyroidism. Even though my endocrinologist had me on a regimen of diurectics to protect my kidneys, in the early 2000s, it was recommended that I see a urologist. It was then determined that I had nephrocalcinosis and kidney stones. I do not pass any of the kidney stones so they just sit in my kidneys making themselves at home. About two years ago, I went to Washington, DC, and visited the NIH. I received gene testing on a special case study that I was invited to participate in. That is when they determined I have a rare disease known as HDR Syndrome (hypoparathyroidism, deafness, and renal disease syndrome).
The reason I chose to do a blog for Cal-EZ is to promote fitness amongst the hypoparathyroidism family. I have been a member of the Hypoparathyroidism organization for several years. I have been to many of the conferences, and I always meet people that struggle to have fun in the outdoors or even in the gym. I personally believe that everyone can go out and do some sort of fitness with the proper care and management. I also want to promote the use of the Cal-EZ product. Unlike the other stuff that is available over the counter, this is much easier to digest and therefore could really help those who need it. (See my disclosure at the end of this post.)
So, my blog is going to focus on my path to doing a Full Ironman. With this rare disease, I have been training for over six years, doing a combination of 5K races, 10K races, 20K races, bike rallies, and triathlons starting at the short sprint distance. I completed my first Olympic Distance and Half Ironman in 2014. My goal is to try and get into the World Championship Ironman in Kona, Hawaii, in the fall of 2015. With this blog, I hope to focus on my training, my nutrition, and many other things that take place in preparing for big races. I hope that through my experiences, I will be able to show people ways to work out when they thought they couldn’t and to inspire as well encourage them to become fit, and most importantly, have fun.
At the end of the 2014 training season, I decided to have some elective surgery done. I will not be fully back into the swing of my training until late March. However, I hope to be back to swimming come February and possibly running. I hope that in March I can get back on the bike. I will eventually be able to start strength training and will talk about that too. But as I recover, I will share how I feel, my nutrition and what my workouts are.
Disclosure: I receive an athletic scholarship from Cal-EZ. Although I am not able to take Cal-EZ right now because of my participation in a clinical study using a different calcium product, my thoughts about Cal-EZ are my own because I believe it is beneficial for people on the go and for those suffering with hypoparathyroidism.
To read other voices struggling with chronic illness and calcium deficiency, please visit our new series, New Year, New Voices.