The first time you meet Lori Rogers, a petite lady in her 40s whose positive attitude is contagious, you would never guess that she broke the state record in a deadlift competition earlier this year -- and took second place at the world championship weightlifting finals this month.
It would be even harder to guess that she accomplished her goals after battling lupus for 27 years.
The disease, which attacks the internal organs, has caused numerous physical challenges, and she has undergone multiple surgeries. The most serious surgery came in March 2010, when she had 8 feet of her large intestine removed.
That caused a host of other medical issues, including a painful shifting of her remaining organs and an infection that ravaged her body for months.
"I hurt everywhere on my insides," Rogers said of that painful recovery time. "I could not get back on track. I was ready to cash it in and throw in the towel. I was so sick and so overwhelmed."
Rogers was beginning to believe she would have to leave her job as an office manager and apply for disability. The only thing keeping her going was her need to be there for her daughters, now 17 and 20.
"One day, I realized, 'I'm too young for this. I don't want to be on disability. I want to be active and healthy and be there for my kids,' " Rogers said.