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, 34, 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
We know, it sounds like a crazy question. But some people say they’ve found unexpected reasons to actually be grateful for their diagnosis. Here’s what three bloggers wrote.
Continue reading Voices: Are You Grateful for Your Arthritis?
When Kevin Gadd was born, roughly 51 years ago, an unexpected and unwelcomed guest joined his family.
“My mom was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in her hands just after I was born,” explained Kevin. “We called it Arthur, like Arthur-itis. We were always mad at Arthur because he brought pain to my mom and made it difficult for her to do the things she loved. Arthur was a bad dude.”
Continue reading Getting Rid of Arthur, the Uninvited Guest
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