Fifteen years ago, when I was 18, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It was then when I made a promise to myself that I would never let RA dictate or stop me from doing something I am passionate about or want to pursue.
For those of you who do not know me I am a huge Wonder Woman fan. In fact I got a WW tattoo on my ankle as a constant reminder of how strong you can be even when you have flare ups or are having a bad day!
Rheumatoid arthritis is usually mistaken for just "arthritis" or being a disease associated with older generations. Unfortunately, RA does not discriminate and in fact takes on many roles affecting the whole body. It is more than just joint pain. RA is an autoimmune disease that on top of joint pain brings along symptoms of chronic fatigue, headaches, nerve and muscle pain, deformities, complications with other organs, and the list goes on. Mornings are the toughest..... For example, brushing your teeth, which is routine for most and you wouldn't think much about, can be a painful and daunting task for those with RA.
Most recently I joined a RA Social Networking site where I have shared my own story, but most importantly learned about other people going through the same journey; living a life with a chronic disease and not knowing how they will feel on a day to day basis. I am amazed to read about and learn how so many are not on proper medications due to insurance and still how only a fraction of US research is given to the disease.
After doing my own searching, I found the racing for a cure website and teamed up with them to create a fundraising page for the Asbury Half Marathon. I will be running in this event on April 21st. I am excited to run this event as my 4th marathon- It will not only fight my RA physically but help support/give back to the RA community.Money that is donated will be used on funding arthritis research to find new treatments and cures for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
I want to personally thank you ahead of time for taking the time to read my message and donating! Every dollar counts <3