I like to think that having Rheumatoid Arthritis is like a journey. Everyone’s journey is different. But we are all fighting for the same things such as relief from joint pain or depression, rheumatoid arthritis medications that work or ones that we can tolerate, and learning to live well with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
My unbelievable, neverending journey
I am amazed at all the places my journey has taken me. I have gone from losing my career and much of my mobility, to finding people who understand and learning so much about myself in the process. My journey has shown me how strong I can be, and who I really am. Rheumatoid Arthritis has taught me that the little things really do matter. Being able to walk or even open my own pill bottles are things I no longer take for granted.
My journey with the Arthritis Foundation
Last year, during one of my many sleepless nights on the computer, I found the Arthritis Foundation. I visited the site for many days reading various articles and looking for support. My father became ill, and I forgot about the site as I was so busy with him at the hospital. After three weeks in ICU, and a lot of suffering, my father passed away. I felt lost. I had lost one of my biggest means of emotional support and my best friend.
Where did this leave me? Which path was my journey going to take now?
A couple of weeks later I found myself back at the Arthritis Foundation’s site. While looking through the site I found some information on the “Arthritis Walk.” I immediately signed up as a team captain. I kept thinking how proud my father would have been, and how he would have loved to do this with me. I did the walk in honor of him.
Before I knew it, I had family and friends signing up and I was receiving donations for the Arthritis Foundation. I did an interview with a local newspaper to help promote the walk. I felt good. I felt like I was making a difference. My team was named the “Rheumies.”
At the walk, I introduced myself and my team and told them that I was walking for rheumatoid arthritis. I walked a whole mile with my family and friends right beside me. It was an amazing accomplishment for me. I was proud.
Arthritis Walk Part Two
I signed up later that year for the Arthritis Jingle Bell Run/Walk. This time, I had more people who were there in support of me. What a wonderful feeling to know that so many people are supporting me on this journey. How wonderful is it to know that there is a foundation out there that supports me and that is raising awareness of this awful disease and also raising money for research.
Why I walk
I walk in hopes that I can raise awareness.
I walk in hopes that I can help one person get that diagnosis they are desperately seeking.
I walk because I want to help raise money for research.
I walk because even though I may not see a cure in my lifetime, I hope for a cure in my boy’s lifetime.
I walk because I want to make a difference and because I want others like me to know that they are not alone.
Working with the Arthritis Foundation has helped give me hope. It has also helped give me a purpose to my life where I once thought that I had lost all purpose. My journey will never end. I will keep walking, hoping, dealing, and sharing with others. I will continue my journey, and my walks to find a cure. I will continue my journey and the Arthritis walks because it helps me help you!
Published On: March 20, 2008