Already famous for his vocals in the Grammy award-winning band Imagine Dragons, Dan Reynolds is ready to be known for something else, too: Ankylosing spondylitis.
Reynolds was diagnosed with AS, a chronic inflammatory condition, when he was just 20 years old, according to a news release from the Spondylitis Association of America. Now, almost a decade later, Reynolds and the SAA are joining forces to launch an interactive talk show about people living with AS.
The goal of the show, which will be called “This AS Life Live,” is to increase awareness of the condition, the release said. Reynolds will act as the show’s host, interviewing a different person living with AS in each episode about how the condition affects their daily life, covering topics from relationships to doctor’s appointments.
AS is a form of arthritis — think of it as the cousin to rheumatoid arthritis — that impacts more than 1 million people in the U.S., with symptoms first appearing between the ages of 17 and 45 in most people. AS causes inflammation in the spine and pelvis, which leads to severe back pain, stiffness and problems with the structure of the spine. There is no cure for AS, but it can be managed.
For Reynolds, AS caused intense pain that made it difficult for him to even sleep, let alone perform in a high-energy rock band.
“Because it doesn’t exhibit any external signs or symptoms, AS truly is an invisible disease,” he said in the release. “It nearly took away many of my life’s biggest joys, like holding my child and performing live on stage.”
Now, Reynolds has learned to manage the condition and is excited to help educate people with AS as well as their care-givers through the new series, he said in the release.
Episode of the series will air on ThisASLife.com, an online community for people living with AS. The first episode, featuring professional chef Helgi Olafson, was released on Feb. 9, 2017, and can be viewed here.
Lara is a digital editor for HealthCentral. She is the site’s staff writer, Sexual Health editor, and email newsletter chief. Previously, she worked as the patient education editor at the American College of OB-GYNs, where she became obsessed with learning about women’s health. She also freelances as a news writer/editor at WTOP.com. Connect with her on Twitter @laradesanto.