Psi Chicas founder Chi Chi Chia Chi, who is battling psoriasis, has been diagnosed with psoribian, a parasitic disease, the first time that an Asian American has been so publicly diagnosed in the United States.
The announcement came Tuesday as Chi Chi was on the cover of People magazine, where she talked about how her diagnosis has changed her life.
Chi Chi Chi is a former basketball star who has struggled with psoriatic arthritis, a chronic, life-threatening skin condition that causes inflammation, itching and redness.
Her diagnosis has prompted some people to call her a “chic.”
“I was like, ‘Whoa!
It means a lot to me,'” Chi Chi told PEOPLE of the diagnosis.
“It means more than I thought.”
Chi Chia, a former Olympian and the face of the Chi Chi Girls Gym in Hollywood, has had psoriac arthritis for about six years.
The condition has made it difficult for her to move around, walk or eat, but she says her condition is now manageable.
“I just want to get back to the life I was in before I had psorias,” Chi Chi said.
Chu Chi Chi’s diagnosis came after a lengthy process that included multiple surgeries and months of treatment.
The disease is caused by the bacteria Enterobacteriaceae, and it has a high rate of recurrence.
Chiati Chi said she had to undergo multiple surgeries to treat her condition.
Chi Chi says she’s grateful for the support of her family and community.
“If you had to go through something like this, it would be tough,” Chi Chi said.
“But it was worth it, because I can’t imagine how my family or friends or people who are diagnosed with this would feel.”
Chia Chi Chi has been active in sports, such as basketball and tennis, and is the founder of the chi chicago program.
Chi Chias goal is to help others overcome psoriachias and other skin conditions.
“My hope is to show the world that people who have psoriatitis don’t have to go into a dark alley, they can go out and have fun,” Chi Chin said.
“To be able to tell my kids, you’re not alone, there are people out there who are going to take care of you and help you.”
Chiatis daughter, Kimchi, has a similar diagnosis and wants to help.
Kimchi Chi says Chi Chi can be a positive role model for her daughters and that the Chi Chicas foundation is a place to raise awareness about psorosis and psoriathis.
“As a parent, I don’t want to hear from her, but I know that she does her best for her children,” Kimchi said.
The Chi Chics have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of the surgeries and medical treatments.
Chi Chin hopes to raise $3 million to support her family through the next two years.
For more information on Chi ChiChia, visit the ChiChiChiGirls.com website.