Serena Williams

Serena Williams Uses Her Story to Empower Others


Feb. 20 2024, Published 3:48 p.m. ET

Serena Williams is one of the greatest female tennis players of this generation. As a tennis player, it’s routine to promote health and wellness to the fans and the world. From commercials to events, athletes use their talents and fame to promote health and wellness. However, when it comes to Serena Williams, she uses her personal health journey to advocate for women’s health.

Not only is she one of the greatest tennis players of this generation, but she is also a wife and a mother. During her pregnancy, she faced something far greater than any match she’s played. She uses that story to be a voice for women today.

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Serena’s Pregnancy Story

In 2017, Serena Williams shocked the world when she announced her pregnancy with her first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. However, her pregnancy came with a few complications. She experienced something called pulmonary embolism, where there’s a blockage in the pulmonary arteries, and the blood vessels send blood clots to the lungs.

There is a high numberof Black women who suffer from health complications during pregnancy. Some women even die of complications due to lack of care and unawareness. This is where Serena Williams uses her voice to shed light on women of color who suffer from complications during their pregnancy.

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Serena Being A Voice

After the near-death experience that Serena Williams went through, she used social media to share her story with others. She wrote on her Instagram:

“I spoke to the nurse. I told her: ‘I need to have a CAT scan of my lungs bilaterally, and then I need to be on my heparin drip.’ She said, ‘I think all this medicine is making you talk crazy.’ I said, ‘No I’m telling you what I need: I need the scan immediately. And then I need it to be done with dye.’’’

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After this experience, she took steps such as partnering with UNICEF and the Center for Reproductive Rights to find more stories of women of color who suffered maternal complications. With her actions, she has changed the narrative for women of color who suffer complications, such as taking legislative action and increasing funding for maternal health programs. She continously shared her story in interviews and social media. She even wrote an article on CNN to use her story as a call to action for others to pay attention to the issue at hand. She stated in her article:

Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background, deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. And you can help make this a reality. How? You can demand governments, businesses and healthcare providers do more to save these precious lives. You can donate to UNICEF, and other organizations around the world working to make a difference for mothers and babies in need. In doing so, you become part of this narrative – making sure that one day, who you are or where you are from does not decide whether your baby gets to live or to die. Together, we can make this change. Together, we can be the change.”

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