World Arthritis Day: Awareness, Building Bridges and an Exciting Announcement
"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 work. 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 the different types of arthritis in their communities. The thought of that much positive effort sent out into the universe can give you goosebumps!
To celebrate World Arthritis Day, MyRACentral and the television show The Doctors are working on a joint project to raise awareness about RA! MyRACentral will provide our high-quality, accurate information about RA for The Doctors' show website (TheDoctorsTV.com) and for DrPhil.com. As well, Dr. Phil will link to our community on his blog post about World Arthritis Day later today (ed: the post is here) We're very excited and very much appreciate both shows giving us this opportunity to open up the conversation about RA to a wider audience.
But there's more! We are also in the early stages of working with The Doctors' production company regarding a deeper initiative to raise awareness about RA, one that will be a powerful tool to dispel myths and misconceptions. We'll keep you posted on the details - stay tuned!
Awareness Can Change the Future
Here on MyRACentral, we do our best to give you the information you need to live well with RA and to help create increased awareness about what it means to have this disease. We have resources that you can use to educate the people around you from friends and family to employers and Congress. Together we make connections with individuals and grassroots organizations, creating a web of information and support that fights the misunderstandings about RA.
As we work with The Doctors and Dr. Phil shows, we're building even more bridges that can lead to many more people knowing what you live with every day. When more people know what RA is, the perception of the illness will change, the stigma will subside and your life will improve. Not just as you go about the business of your days, but in a bigger way, as well. The more awareness there is, the better we are able to raise funds for research. Research that will develop better drugs, helping more people with RA to go into remission. One day, we will find a cure.
Please join us in the exciting new chapter. Together, we will change the world!