World Arthritis Day: Awareness, Building Bridges & an Exciting Announcement

 Today is World Arthritis Day and this is what I wrote for MyRACentral to celebrate:

""Arthritis? I have that, too. My knee acts up when the weather changes."
"Arthritis? But that's for old people!"
"Rheumatoid arthritis? It's such a tragedy you won't be able to pursue your dreams."

We face misconceptions about rheumatoid arthritis every day. Very few people know what it is, confusing it with osteoarthritis, often shrugging off the effects. When someone does know a little about rheumatoid arthritis, it’s usually accompanied by a soundtrack of doom, expecting you to spend the rest of your life being tragic with a capital T.

These misconceptions have an impact beyond the daily frustration of having to educate someone yet again. The misunderstandings about RA carry a stigma that affects how we live our lives. Some have to hide their diagnosis from fear of losing their career and with good reason - many people with RA face discrimination at workkind it. Marriages are lost, families refuse to understand and when your ability to go out is as unpredictable as the moods of a 14-year-old girl, friends stop calling.

Building Bridges to a Better Understanding of RA
Today, October 12, 2011 is World Arthritis Day. Today, people around the globe will work to improve the understanding of arthritis in their communities. The thought of that much positive effort sent out into the universe can give you goosebumps!"
You can read the rest of the post on MyRACentral. The very next paragraph has the exciting announcement. And it's not just exciting because my entire long weekend went into it. It's really, REALLY exciting.