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8 Days, 525 Miles – Biking the California Coast For a Cure!

8 Days, 525 Miles – Biking the California Coast For a Cure!

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, the Arthritis Foundation’s 16th Annual California Coast Classic Bike Tour will take off from Pier 39 on the beautiful bay of San Francisco. Over 250 riders will embark on an 8-day tour down the coast of California’s famous Highway 1, stopping along the way in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur, Cambria, Oceano, Buellton, Ventura and concluding on October 1 in Pacific Palisades of Los Angeles. Celebrating its 16th consecutive year, the “CCC” brings together riders of all ages from all over the world – with some coming from as far as England and New York, to ...more
New Hampshire Volunteer Focused on a Cure

New Hampshire Volunteer Focused on a Cure

Tom Raffio is a true Champion of Yes. Though not personally affected by arthritis, Tom, a dedicated volunteer, has made it his mission to help educate, fundraise and advocate for the millions of Americans living with the disease. “Until everyone is comfortable talking about arthritis, until there is a sea of green during the walks, I will not settle,” Tom said. For the past three years, Tom has acted as chairman of his local New Hampshire leadership board and is helping make sure others know the profound impact of arthritis. As president and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental, he’s able to use his ...more
From Gymnastics Gold to JA: How Gymnastics & Juvenile Arthritis Changed Marina Gomez’s Life

From Gymnastics Gold to JA: How Gymnastics & Juvenile Arthritis Changed Marina Gomez’s Life

Marina Gomez of Wichita, KS has been a gymnast since she was just 4-years-old. In 2012 and 2013 she won consecutive gold medals at the Junior Olympic National Championship in competitive trampoline. Marina was looking forward to a long gymnastics career but after she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) in 2013, her gymnastics career was cut short. Marina Gomez Marina’s first time competing at the Junior Olympic National Championship in 2012, she won gold in her event. Marina was training at least 18 hours a week and pushing her body to the limits. Shortly after returning home from her first ...more
Biologics Appear Safe for Some Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Who’ve Had Cancer

Biologics Appear Safe for Some Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Who’ve Had Cancer

Researchers set out to answer a pressing question: Is it safe for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who have had cancer in the past to use a biologic drug rather than a traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), like methotrexate, to control their disease? Their answer, detailed in a study recently published online in the journal Rheumatology, is reassuring. They found that patients with a previous malignancy who later took certain biologics did not appear to have an increased risk of cancer after an average of five years, compared to those who took a traditional DMARD. The immune system is at the root ...more
Spotlight on Debra Lappin - Patient, Advocate & Volunteer

Spotlight on Debra Lappin - Patient, Advocate & Volunteer

The Arthritis Foundation is truly fortunate to have a network of dedicated volunteers, engaged constituents and committed board leaders helping us move our mission forward. Today’s spotlight focuses on someone very special to the foundation that is all three of those things. Debra R. Lappin, JD is a former national chair of the Arthritis Foundation and is currently a patient advocate volunteering on our behalf with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Accelerating Medicines Partnership. How Debra came to be involved with the Arthritis Foundation is quite the story – In her late 20s, Ms. Lappin was embarking on a promising ...more
2015 Annual Report Published: Great Strides Paving the Way to Yes

2015 Annual Report Published: Great Strides Paving the Way to Yes

The Arthritis Foundation is proud of the new directions we’ve taken over the past couple of years. We’ve shifted our attention to make the biggest and best impact on people’s lives. We’ve gotten more focused, strategic, streamlined and personalized. 2015 may seem like long ago now, but it was a landmark year. And it is now part of our rich history over seven decades of remarkable experience. For a snapshot of pivotal milestones that led to today’s work, check out the Arthritis Foundation’s 2015 annual report. As our infographics show: We rallied behind 159 bills in 46 states, leading to 44 new laws that ...more
New Pain Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis Targets Nerves

New Pain Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis Targets Nerves

A relatively new treatment for knee osteoarthritis (OA) appears to reduce pain better than traditional corticosteroid injections, according to a study published recently in International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. The study, by researchers at Adnan Menderes University in Turkey, compared corticosteroid injections into the joint to a procedure called radiofrequency neurotomy in a group of 73 patients with knee OA. Radiofrequency neurotomy is the use of a heated needle to damage nerves – in this case the genicular (knee) nerves – in order to disrupt pain signals. After receiving treatment, the group that underwent neurotomy reported less pain and greater functional ...more
National Adult Jingle Bell Run Honoree Joanna Helon Fosters Hope

National Adult Jingle Bell Run Honoree Joanna Helon Fosters Hope

33 -- that’s the number of years Joanna Helon has had arthritis. The kicker? She’s only 40. For 21 of those years, Joanna has channeled her energy into the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. Through medications, treatments, inflammation, pain and some frustration, Joanna has leveraged the 5K as a platform to gather friends, raise awareness, and most importantly, raise money to support the Arthritis Foundation. Joanna, a non-profit consultant in the Columbus, Ohio area, was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in elementary school. For more than a year, Joanna and her family struggled to find an accurate diagnosis for her ...more
Pedaling for a Purpose: How Dave Hall is Saying Yes to Making a Difference

Pedaling for a Purpose: How Dave Hall is Saying Yes to Making a Difference

Four years ago, Dave Hall could barely ride a bike. He knew how to ride a bike, and had ridden a bike most of his life, he just wasn’t sure if he could bear the pain at that time. Dave has ankylosing spondylitis and fights severe pain that radiates down his lower back, waist and legs. For someone who has been extremely active for most of his life, living with a chronic illness has been rough. Four years ago, after a medication he had been taking for a decade stopped working, he had to severely alter his activity level due ...more
Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Fibromyalgia, an example of a central pain syndrome, is a chronic health condition characterized by symptoms like widespread muscle pain, fatigue, memory problems and mood changes. Many people with fibromyalgia complain that sleep – or lack thereof – is one of the most frustrating challenges of living with fibromyalgia. Sleep Problems with Fibromyalgia Sleep problems are common among people with fibromyalgia. It is unclear whether lack of restorative sleep makes fibromyalgia symptoms worse or if pain from fibromyalgia makes it difficult to attain a good night’s sleep. “We know that pain makes sleep quality worse,” says Daniel Clauw, MD, professor of anesthesiology, rheumatology ...more