The Month Ahead: Starting the Conversation
Every fight for creating positive change starts with a conversation. At first, like-minded people talk in their living rooms over coffee or a beer. Then it moves to a room at a community center or in a church basement and a larger group gets involved. Sooner or later, the leap is made to widen the scope and before you know it, passionate people are writing articles and books about it, then testifying for Congress and change begins to happen. Sometimes, that change moves beyond national boundaries and includes the world. And it wouldn't have started without that first conversation.
In October, the MyRACentral community will be starting conversations and taking part in creating awareness for other issues where the conversation has already begun. We will join with others, bringing awareness about how rheumatoid arthritis is connected, giving you information that can helping you make changes in your own world.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that women with disabilities are more likely to be the victims of domestic violence? When you live with a chronic illness like RA it can have a serious impact on your relationships, changing dynamics and leaving cracks open for abuse, as well as having an impact on how you respond. Unfortunately, there is very little awareness about violence and abuse against women with chronic illnesses and disabilities. This month, MyRACentral is proud to start a conversation. We're thrilled that Karen Ager, author of Enemy Within, is partnering with us in this initiative. Her post will appear in the next week or two. Both Brad and I will also post on the issue. Eight other HealthCentral sites have joined this project and will post on domestic violence and abuse as it links to their communities. We will have a special page that collects all these posts in one place so it's easier for you to find them. Keep an eye out for more information early next week.
This month also has two other events that are important to RA and which involve not just us, but the whole world. World Arthritis Day is celebrated on October 12 - check out their website for information and WAD events all over the world. October is also the World Health Organization's launch of the Bone and Joint Decade. This was created to improve the quality of life of people who live with bone and joint conditions all over the world, as well as advancing treatment and understanding of such conditions through education and research. The link above takes you to the main website, but you can also check out the US Bone and Joint Decade site.
We have several posts planned that are related to World Arthritis Day and the Bone and Joint Decade. Later this month I'll be writing a post with more information about these two initiatives and V will write about living with RA in a world that doesn't know what RA is. Lisa will delve into a study about inflammatory neurological disease in people who take anti-TNF drugs, such as Enbrel and Humira. She will also take a look at the connections that can be created when people really do understand what each other are going through. Brad will take a look at the different ways we can take RA medication and it is very possible that I may finally be able to post that much delayed article about remission.
October is also the Awareness Months for Mental Health, Breast Cancer and Disability Employment. The communities on our Breast Cancer, Depression, Schizophrenia and Bipolar sites will feature articles on these issues. Throughout the month, I'll put a post that has links to specific articles on these sites that can help you improve your lives. As well, Cathy will write a post about breast cancer and natural personal care products. She will also interview her mother about living with fibromyalgia.
Leslie is starting a conversation of her own about a much wider awareness of lupus. What would happen if the world turned purple and everyone knew what this meant in the same way we know pink is for breast cancer?
Please join us in the conversations. We look forward to reading your posts about the issues that matter in your life.