Olympic Swimmer Michael Klim Shares His CIDP Diagnosis and “Drastically” Deteriorating Health

Olympic gold medalist Michael Klim revealed that he was diagnosed with CIDP over two years ago. See what he had to say about his declining health below.

By Daisy Maldonado Jul 13, 2022 8:55 PMTags
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Olympic swimming champion Michael Klim is opening up about his recent health problems.

In a new blog post on his website, the former athlete revealed that over two years ago he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, a neurological disorder condition that "targets your body's nerves, especially the areas of the arms, hands, legs, and feet," he said.

Klim admitted that although he has "always been an outspoken advocate" of a healthy work-life balance, he previously "neglected my health and wasn't honest with myself about the signs and symptoms my body was telling me."

"I have been dealing with chronic ankle problems and degenerative back issues for quite some time," he said. "Initially it was just the odd cramp or pain in my joints, but over time my symptoms started to progress."

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Klim explained that what began as his thighs appearing thinner than usual turned into a tingling sensation on his feet.

"As time passed I started to feel a little bit unbalanced whilst I was making sudden movements. Before I knew it, 2 years had flown by and what started as a creep had rapidly spiralled [sic] out of control," Klim said. He soon after started to experience significant leg weakness that left him "unable to stand properly."

He added, "My health began to deteriorate drastically—my strength, my athleticism—was being taken away from me and I couldn't do anything to stop it!"

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As his health continued to deteriorate, the retired Olympian said that he was forced to rely on the help of his partner Michelle Owen and his three children Stella, 16, Frankie, 11 and Rocco, 14—whom he shares with his ex-wife Lindy Rama—to get around.

But Klim isn't giving up hope.

After undergoing numerous IVIG (intravenous Immunoglobulin) treatments throughout the years, he said that he is now starting "to see and feel some improvement in my everyday function and mobility."

"It's hard accepting that my identity will no longer be reliant on my athletic ability," he concluded. "Sharing my journey is another part of this healing process and I would hope that it brings awareness to CIDP and resonates with people who may be going through similar challenges."

Klim previously won a gold medal for Freestyle Relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.


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