conference of champions

2018 Live Yes! Conference of Champions

Building Momentum for the Arthritis Movement

Bringing people with arthritis together has been an Arthritis Foundation specialty for 70 years. Helping them make connections with each other and with the experts and resources they need can change their lives.

This November, we’ll renew our promise to empower people with arthritis to live their best life at the 2018 Live Yes! Conference of Champions. Hundreds of Arthritis Foundation staff members, passionate volunteers and generous partners from around the country will descend on Baltimore to focus on “The Power of Connections.”

The Power of Connections

Connections are what make our community tick. And something the Foundation does best is make meaningful connections possible for the 54 million Americans suffering from the disease.

Arthritis pain can be relentless and make it difficult, if not impossible, to do everyday tasks and the things people love to do. Many say it leads to feelings of isolation and depression. There’s no cure, and most available treatments bring only temporary relief. To change all that, the Arthritis Foundation is pioneering new medical research while creating tools and resources to make living with arthritis easier.

At this year’s Conference of Champions, volunteers will learn new ways to make local connections that are even more powerful. We’ll hear from patients about what they’ve experienced and what’s important to them, helping further shape our research strategy. We’ll celebrate what we’ve accomplished over the past year and recognize exceptional volunteers who have gone above and beyond.

Bringing our Live Yes! Arthritis Network to Life

We’ll spend much of our time together advancing the Live Yes! Arthritis Network, which has been jump-started through several community meet-ups nationwide. We’ll explore ways to further customize people’s experiences with the Arthritis Foundation, both in person and online, so they can better manage their condition and connect with others.

Keynote speakers include: 

  • Rob Wicall, Arthritis Foundation leadership board chair in San Antonio, who made his living for many years entertaining basketball fans inside the furry costume of “The Coyote” mascot of the NBA’s Spurs. Rob, who battles ankylosing spondylitis, made incredible connections during that gig. He’ll tell us how seizing opportunities and making authentic moments happen are key to connecting with and inspiring others.
  • Clark Middleton, actor and arthritis Advocate, who has spent a lifetime defying the limits of arthritis and whose on-camera and off-camera lives have intertwined. Starring in “The Blacklist,” “The Path” and “Twin Peaks,” and recently on Broadway in “The Iceman Cometh” with Denzel Washington, Clark has lived with arthritis since age 4. He’ll share how he tackled one obstacle after another to come out on top.
  • Ginamarie and Annamarie Russo, identical twins, both living with RA, but diagnosed 18 years apart, whose connections and support have allowed them to remain active. They’ve dabbled in acting and modelling and had multiple appearances on NBC’s “Today” show and even competed on the VH1 reality show, “Twinning.”

Register Now for the Conference of Champions

The 2018 Live Yes! Conference of Champions promises to be informative, inspirational and thought provoking. By attending, you’ll learn how to open more doors, expand your horizons and break down barriers. And you’ll see firsthand how every connection has the power to produce positive results and move us ever closer to conquering arthritis for good. We’d love to have you join us Nov. 9-10!


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