Arthritis is an invisible disease that affects more than 54 million Americans. The pain of arthritis can often keep people from doing the things they truly love, such as hiking or dancing, but it can also rob them of life’s simple pleasures and most basic joys, like picking up your child.
Everyone needs to know that arthritis is THE #1 disability in the United States and countless Americans are waiting for a cure. This Arthritis Awareness Month, we launched the #LetsGripArthritis campaign to put a spotlight on the brutal realities of arthritis so we can get a grip on this debilitating disease once and for all.
To show people how challenging it can be to live with arthritis, we asked our arthritis community to share their stories. This is what you shared with us.
“If they only knew the YOUNG ones who have juvenile RA and might not know the joys of playing sports etc.” – Chris, Facebook
I love to travel, but RA has made it nearly impossible. Boo for RA! 😢 – Joy, Facebook
What if you couldn’t pick up your own child or walk around the zoo with them? I don’t have to imagine – I’ve been there. Let’s find better treatments or a cure for #arthritis! Because motherhood is hard enough!! #LetsGripArthritis — Mariah Leach, Twitter
Boy I understand that, I have Avascular necrosis and when your bones breakdown the severe arthritis pain makes it unbelievable to stand or walk even with pain medication. – Cheryl, Facebook
I love listening to live music and dancing the night away.
Haven’t done it in so long because of this disease. – 4sparlings, Instagram
Yep, me, too…that’s honestly what I miss…dancing 💃😀, but I love music that makes me feel like dancing!! I close my eyes & can still see myself doing it…one of these days, I will be able to do it for real 💙🙌💙😀 – Carrie, Instagram
I danced ballet for 10 years and had to quit because of RA. Often while listening to music at night I picture myself dancing again. – Eileen, Instagram
i was a dancer and a cheerleader and then I got Ra and fibromyalgia.. it’s very hard when you have been doing those for so long and then it just stops on day… – Jennifer B, Instagram
I used to dance ballet for over 10 years… Today I can hardly walk and can’t run since 2012 – Andrea, Instagram
I have never commented on instagram but today I must. My RA has taken this from me. I have lost a part of me that I loved. I cry sometimes because I can no longer dance the night away. Believe me I did. The happiness taken by RA kills me. I miss my friends laughing and dancing and performing together. It was a very special part of life for me. I met many special people in dance. Amazing they are. Missing you all. – Milarczyk, Instagram
I couldn’t even hold or feed my son when I had him twenty three years ago, couldn’t do nappies, baby grows,bath him etc. I couldn’t look after myself so how could I possibly look after my baby 😢 – Mand1911, Instagram
What if you can’t brush your own hair or bath yourself because the pain is so bad it exhausting to go through this….! – gma3hearts, Instagram
To everyone that participated, thank you so much for sharing your story. If you still haven’t chimed in on social media, we need your help to spread awareness!