Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Share Your Experience

Every person who has been affected by rheumatoid arthritis has learned something that could benefit someone else. By sharing your experience you are channeling energy, hope, information and strength to others living with RA.

DeNicola's Wedding Stephanie’s Story
Charlottesville, Va.

I was 22 and in my last semester in college when I "got sick," as I refer to my onset. Over the course of a few weeks, I lost the use of the left side of my body. Over two and a half months, I was examined by 13 doctors and finally was diagnosed with seronegative RA.

When I was diagnosed, I had the typical "I'm too young" attitude. I was immediately put on methotrexate and a high dose corticosteroid. I was told that my dream of being a high school English teacher—which I was a month from realizing— was impractical. Over the next few months, I moved back home, got my diagnosis confirmed, went into a severe depression and was recommended for permanent disability. More...

Shirley’s Story
Jacksboro, Texas

After seeing a rheumatologist, Shirley was diagnosed with early onset rheumatoid arthritis and qualified to participate in a research group testing new RA drug therapies. “Almost immediately, I noticed a difference,” she says. “My pain began to subside and my strength returned. I started feeling normal again.”

“I would love to think that there could be a cure for RA available for the next generation of patients,” she states. “My rheumatologist saved my life. I am indebted to the rheumatology community, so I am more than glad that Hunter and I are able to support their efforts to fight and defeat this disease.”

The McLindens’ Story
Chicago, Ill.

“I want Sara to have a good quality of life,” says Betsy. “It’s not clear how she will tolerate the medications over the long run and what additional challenges she will face with the disease as she ages.”

But, Betsy is heartened by Sara’s strength and positive attitude, which has been an inspiration to her entire family—so much so that John ran the Boston Marathon earlier this year in her honor to raise money and awareness for RA.


Share Your Experience
The REF hopes to unite people in their fight against RA. When we band together and share our experiences, we'll help others learn from similar RA experiences and show people they are not alone in their battle with the disease.


Information posted on the Share Your Experience page is edited for content and space, and are the expressed opinions of the posting authors. The content does not imply a recommendation or an endorsement by the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation.




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