Identical twins Annamarie and Ginamarie Russo share many qualities: They look and sound alike, they love acting and traveling – and both have rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
For almost two decades, RA was one thing the twins, 31, did not share. Ginamarie was diagnosed with juvenile RA (now called juvenile idiopathic arthritis) when she was 12; Annamarie was diagnosed 18 years later, at age 30.
Continue reading Double Take: Twins with RA Fight It Together
Turning into the straightaway you quickly push the pedal to the floor. The engine roars to life as you accelerate down the track. Up ahead is your next challenge – a hairpin turn that requires carefully calculated breaking and precise steering, otherwise you might spin out and lose your position. Your tires are just inches away from the car next to you. With a little luck and skill, you might outmaneuver the other driver and come out ahead without wrecking.
Tom Boehland can’t get enough of this. He grew up a race fan and for years has known legendary IndyCar driver and team owner Bobby Rahal. Today he roots for Bobby’s son, Graham, who currently competes in the IndyCar Series.
Continue reading Racing for a Cure: Drivers Burn Rubber for Mini Grand Prix Crown
Competitive swimming is a difficult sport. Athletes spend hours every day going back and forth in a pool with their heads mostly under water honing their skills and techniques hoping to shave tenths of a second off their times.
Continue reading Brothers to Swim Across Lake Erie in Honor of their Mother and to Support the Arthritis Community
People climb mountains for many reasons. For some, it’s a test of physical strength and endurance. For others, it’s for the rush and exhilaration. For Alex Jakobson, it was to prove to himself that he can overcome the pain and limitations of arthritis.
Alex was living a great life when arthritis reared its ugly head. He was 35 years old, married to his sweetheart and living in France where he enjoyed a very social and active lifestyle.
Continue reading Climbing Mountains to Conquer Arthritis
If you ask him, David Fortanbary has always been an “outdoorsy person,” and when you talk to him, you can hear his ambition and zest for life ringing loud and clear. Couple those things with the impact arthritis has had on his immediate family, and you’ll understand the makings of one of our most passionate volunteers.
David is all too familiar with just how severe arthritis can be. His father passed away in 2013 due to complications from arthritis. As David recalls, “He got a hip replacement that went bad because of progressive arthritis. When he went back in for a revision procedure, he didn’t make it out of surgery.”
While the loss was obviously a significant and devastating one for David and his family, he took it as an opportunity to make an equally significant commitment to his father’s legacy and the arthritis community as a whole.
Continue reading Until There’s a Cure, We Climb – David Fortanbary Takes Commitment to a Whole New Level
David Covall, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta who has become a Champion of Yes for all we do at the Arthritis Foundation. Besides his staggering fundraising work for the organization – for example, he’s a corporate chair for the Walk to Cure Arthritis, helped raise $61,000 (at press time) and secured $40,000 in sponsorship for the event – Dr. Covall has been a valuable volunteer for the Science pillar.
Dr. Covall became a Science volunteer last year and quickly jumped in to offer his services for the group. Earlier this year, he joined the 2015 Scientific Discovery Advisory Committee (SDAC) earlier this year, and now represents the SDAC as a speaker at Arthritis Foundation events in the regions. He was a reviewer for the Scientific Strategy and serves as an advisor to the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis Big Data projects.
Continue reading Meet Champion of Yes: Dr. David Covall