Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody glomerulonephritis — it was a string of weird-sounding words that Marisol Solano didn’t have to understand to know that it wasn’t good.
She was 12 years old at the time, a local kid enjoying her first few seasons of youth softball.
“I liked softball because I got to hang out with my friends,” she said.
These days, she’s wholly grateful just to be back on the diamond.
It’s been about three years since the start of her medical ordeal, and it hasn’t been an easy stretch for Solano or her family. But she is currently a proud member of Santa Monica High School’s softball program.
The sophomore plays catcher and third base on the junior varsity squad in a program whose varsity team won a CIF Southern Section title last year.
“She is now stable,” said her father, Ray Solano, “and, with the support of her family and friends, is able to play her favorite sport again.”
Softball became an afterthought when, about three years ago, Solano began suffering from a curious illness.
According to Solano’s father, doctors discovered she had inflammation on both of her kidneys but initially weren’t sure what was causing it. Solano was diagnosed with ANCA glomerulonephritis.
According to the UNC Kidney Center in North Carolina, autoantibodies can cause certain white blood cells to attack different tissues and organs in the body. This condition can cause the leakage of blood and protein into the urine, which can cause kidney failure.
Solano endured three rounds of chemotherapy and spent ample time in the hospital. She was limited in her physical activities for two years.
And, making the process even more difficult, she was home-schooled for year.
“Being home-schooled was not the same as being at school because it was a slower pace,” she said. “I didn’t get to learn what my school was learning.”
But Solano was determined to return to softball.
She started playing at the age of 8 in the Santa Monica Girls Fastpitch league, an Amateur Softball Association affiliate.
And she has grown to love the sport, showcasing her batting skills in a short YouTube video in which she swings at pitches with the hood of a sweatshirt covering her face.
Solano was initially reluctant to delve into her story, saying she didn’t want to remember everything that she has gone through. But she hopes it will serve as an inspiration to others.
It has certainly had a strong impact on her.
“It influenced me by making me want to become a doctor and help other people,” she said.
Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, email@example.com or on Twitter.