Q. Are you a slacker when it comes to self-care?
Taking care of yourself is so important, but who hasn’t dealt with the self-care burnout that comes with having a chronic condition?
For the first in a new series featuring some of the leading social media voices on life with arthritis, we asked these bloggers about their struggles with self-care.
Continue reading Voices: Are You a Self-Care Slacker?
Traci Martin purchased her first kayak in 1999. She has always had a love for the outdoors and being physically active and enjoyed kayaking for fun. In 2009, not long after she began competitive kayak races, Traci started experiencing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and was formally diagnosed with RA in 2010. Now, just seven years after her diagnosis, Traci will set off on a journey to kayak 8,600 miles and break the world record for longest solo kayak journey.
Continue reading Woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis to Attempt World Record by Kayaking over 8,000 Miles
Just over two years ago, at the age of 24, Katelynd Park was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It was a devastating blow. She remembers thinking, how could someone so young and healthy be diagnosed with this debilitating disease? Katelynd has come a long way since her diagnosis. She is preparing to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, her first marathon, as part of the Arthritis Foundation team on October 8. She plans on showing others, and herself, that RA will not keep her from living her life.
Continue reading From RA to Running a Marathon – Katelynd Park is Committed to Supporting the Fight for a Cure
I picked up the phone and heard, “Hi, this is Tatum,” and my vision went black and white for a second. Hearing that raspy voice, I saw Tatum O’Neal, at 8 years old, as Addie Loggins in the 1973 movie, Paper Moon, which was shot in black and white. Tatum, so young, nailed the part and won herself an Oscar.
Continue reading Tatum O’Neal: On Top of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Feeling Lucky
Life is full of unexpected twists and, oftentimes, people define ourselves by how they react to these unforeseen moments. Bella Sorensen’s life was drastically altered at the age of 13 when she was originally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Bella, now 17, lives with arthritis, but, like many children and teens with arthritis, their families must live with the disease too.
This is Bella’s story—but it’s also her mother’s story to tell as well.
Dorte Sorensen, recalls a time prior to Bella’s diagnosis, “Four years ago, I would have never imagined I would be here talking about my Bella having this horrible disease in the 8th grade as a 13 year-old.”
Continue reading Bella’s Journey: Arthritis Means a Family Must Adjust to the Disease, Too
A love of cycling seems to run in Tom Baltes’ family. Unfortunately, arthritis does, too.
As one of five children, Tom has watched as two of his siblings have been diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and another has had two hip replacements. Tom has osteoarthritis (OA).
“I was first diagnosed with OA in my left knee and lower spine when I retired from the military,” recalls Tom. “I’m a lucky man in that I have not been particularly bothered by arthritis, but my siblings have really struggled with pain. My arthritis is very minimal compared to what they go through.”
Continue reading From Coast to Coast: A Birthday Challenge Leads to Awareness, Funds for Arthritis
To look at her now, you’d never know that just a few years ago, Jill Konopka struggled just to open a jar of peanut butter.
“Literally, being able to twist open a jar by myself seemed like the biggest accomplishment,” recalls Jill. “I couldn’t even turn the shower head. It was humbling.”
A former Division III college athlete and current local news reporter, Jill was sidelined by a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in her late 20s.
“I was shocked,” says Jill. “Here I was this young, active woman. Then one day I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed.”
Continue reading Running Toward Yes: Arthritis Foundation Marathon Team Takes on TCS New York City Marathon
The use of her hands is incredibly important to Hannah Robison. As the reigning Miss Tennessee, her talent is playing the piano. As a chemistry major in college, she is constantly writing and using her hands in the lab. So when she developed pain in her hands, she initially chalked the pain up to overuse.
“I didn’t think much about it at first, but then the pain moved from my knuckles into my wrists,” says Hannah. “Then the doctor told me that no matter how long I’d been playing the piano, at my age, I still shouldn’t be in pain.”
After many tests and appointments, Hannah still doesn’t have a concrete diagnosis for her pain. That hasn’t stopped her from becoming a huge supporter of the Arthritis Foundation. Continue reading Crowning Achievement: Miss Tennessee Champions Arthritis Awareness
Oh, Massage Envy, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Massage Envy Spa has raised more than $3 million in events to help the 50 million Americans, including 300,000 children affected by the disease. I am one of those 50 million. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis sixteen years ago at the age of 26. With my diagnosis came fear and a misunderstanding that arthritis was an old person’s disease. I didn’t want to accept that I had arthritis. I was young and had always been an active person. I played sports my entire life and went on to play college basketball. How could I have arthritis?
Continue reading Kelli Schandel: Why I’m a Massage Envy Member
“Totally amazing!” says 17-year-old Lexi Narotzky.
She’s not talking about her recent prom or even her summer plans to study in California. She’s talking about last week’s visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Lexi, who was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at three years old, found her way to the NIH after she shared her story with Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R – NJ) at the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit back in March. Struck by her narrative, Frelinghuysen invited Lexi and her entire group to visit the NIH and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) so that they could see firsthand the research that is being done to combat arthritis.
Continue reading One Story Can Change Everything: Visit Gives an Inside Look of the NIH