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Meet Shane Cox
When you meet Shane Cox of Petaluma, California, his quiet, calm demeanor gives little away about this young man. But whether he is speaking as an honoree at his local Jingle Bell Run or at the California Coast Classic, it’s easy to realize he has experienced more in his young life than most his age. Continue reading No One Should Be in Debilitating Pain, Especially at 10 Years Old
As part of our vetting process for Arthritis by the Numbers – a collection of verified arthritis facts and figures – we invited patients to comment on the disease section that most affected their lives. After all, they are the experts on how arthritis changes and challenges everyday living.
Meet Craig Buhr, who is challenged by gout and OA. Following, in his own words, are his thoughts about the statistics he reviewed in Arthritis by the Numbers – and how they relate to him personally.
Continue reading Patient Partner’s Words of Wisdom About Living With Gout & OA
Support the Arthritis Foundation and the 54 million Americans with arthritis.
Meet Cassidy Middleton
Cassidy Middleton is a happy, thriving 8-year-old who has a loving affinity for Minnie Mouse and spending her days horseback riding in the warm, Tucson, Arizona, sun.
In December 2013, Cassidy was diagnosed with autism, and that’s when the Middleton family’s world changed. Most weeks were filled with therapists and appointments, and just when things started to settle down, Cassidy’s mother, Kari, noticed Cassidy was a “bit knock-kneed” and “walking funny” for a 3-year-old. After consulting with their pediatrician, who referred the family to a pediatric rheumatologist, Cassidy was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA). Continue reading No One Should Be in Debilitating Pain, Especially at 8 Years Old
Studying abroad can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. The comfort zones you are so used to back home become non-existent as you make your way through an unknown country meeting new people and immersing yourself into different cultures. For a college student with Rheumatoid Arthritis, there are a few extra challenges I have to face and while doing so, I often question if choosing to travel for a semester was the best option for me. As someone who has Arthritis in all of their joints and still undergoing surgical procedures, the idea of being in an unfamiliar place away from my family and doctors was downright scary. What if my joints got worse or something happened with my medications? What if I decide midway I can’t put my body through this anymore? These questions often swirl around in my head as the activities become difficult or the field trips become too strenuous that I am left lying in bed the next day. When I do ask myself these questions though, I reflect on why I chose to study abroad in the first place. Continue reading Alayna Travaglione: Her Dreams of Studying Abroad Came True
Grandmother Plays Catch with NFL Player James Bradberry…and Inspires Him to Take a Stand Against Arthritis (and Put It on His Cleats)
James Bradberry grew up near Birmingham, Ala. with his mom and younger sister and grandmother nearby. Born with a love for sports and natural talent, he excelled at football in high school and then was recruited by Arkansas State University’s football team. But his Southern roots called him home, so he transferred to Samford University and was later drafted by the NFL Carolina Panthers, starting 12 out of 16 games his first year. Continue reading NFL Player James Bradberry’s Grandmother Inspires for Charity
Joy is something that we feel robbed of when dealing with everyday symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and doctor appointments. When I first developed RA, I felt lonely and isolated. I couldn’t do things I used to do that brought me joy, especially during the holidays, like attend parties, drink or even be on my feet for long. Connecting with people on social media expanded my horizons about ways to find joy. Now, I send people positive messages to bring them joy, which also makes me happy. I’ve sent so many of these that now I receive them, too, when I least expect it. I’ve even gotten videos of people from across the country singing happy birthday to me. I am still participating in society, I just do it a little differently than others. I might not be somewhere in person, but when I send some simple words spreading joy, people know they are in my heart and mind.
Facebook @Through the Eyes of Joy
YouTube @Joy Ross
I have always been a joyful person, but my complete loss of eyesight as a result of juvenile arthritis [JA] and my two young daughters’ diagnoses with JA, I have learned that joy is a choice. As a Christian woman of faith, I allowed God to teach me how to truly walk by faith and not by sight or on pure emotions. God began showing me the true meaning of joy even when the circumstances looked hopeless. Every single day I make the choice to begin the day on a joyful note. My story of hope, perseverance and love is changing lives all over the world! If it were not for our challenges and my faith in Jesus, I wouldn’t have this beautiful perspective. I believe when you choose joy, you find strength, hope and purpose.
Gratitude is about slowing down enough to really notice joy, beauty, what’s funny and what’s good. It’s about experiences instead of things and remembering that I am a lucky woman. This is easier during the holidays, when reminders of love and all we have to be thankful for are all around, but I try to practice gratitude every day. Taking note of positive things and talking to positive people help. Going out with my camera to capture the beauty of the world always makes me feel better, and there’s nothing like sitting quietly with a purring cat on my lap to appreciate the present. Life isn’t about perfection or about stuff, but about love. Finding a way to express that – toward others, toward myself – is at the center of how I cultivate gratitude.
One sultry afternoon in September, Terry Bradshaw was hanging around the horse-training facility on his ranch in Thackerville, Oklahoma, reflecting on turning 70 a few days earlier. “The ride I’ve been on has been an absolute joy,” says Bradshaw. “The good and the bad, all of it.” Continue reading Head to Head With RA
As part of our vetting process for Arthritis by the Numbers – a collection of verified arthritis facts and figures – we invited patients to comment on the disease section that most affected their lives. After all, they are the experts on how the disease changes and challenges everyday living.
Meet Karen Lomas, 65, who works full-time as a nurse. Following, in her own words, is Karen’s story about living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which she was diagnosed with several years ago, and how the statistics she reviewed in Arthritis by the Numbers relate to her personally. Continue reading Nurse With Psoriatic Arthritis: “Take Care of Yourself”
Eight days before he is due for a total knee replacement, Ben Bebenroth is nailing shingles onto a wooden walkway to his barn in the pouring rain. Mid-winter warming has turned the snow into muck, and a bride is on her way to check out the event space at his Spice Acres Farm. The centerpiece of his commitment to locally sourced food, the farm is an outgrowth of his popular Cleveland, Ohio, restaurant, Spice Kitchen & Bar. Continue reading OA helped Chef Ben Bebenroth find the recipe for a balanced life.
The doctor’s prognosis was gloomy. “You should put your daughter in a wheelchair now, so she can adapt to being disabled,” he told Anna Legassie’s mother. Anna, 11 at the time, had just been diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (SJRA, known today as systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis).
Now 34, Anna recalls those words often. Like on that hot summer day in 2015 when she crossed the finish line of her first Spartan Race, a grueling five-mile dash that involved climbing walls, crawling through mud and overcoming other obstacles. A fitting metaphor for a woman who hasn’t let the challenges of arthritis stop her from living a full life.
Continue reading Anna Legassie: Still in the Race