Welcome to Arthritis Awareness Month on HealthCentral We have a lot of exciting events and articles planned for you. Our goal this month is to talk about the arthritis journey and how we go from living with the disease to thriving together as a community. We aim to throw the conversation wide open, involving all of you in a huge awareness initiative.
We are thrilled to announce that Britt is moving into a new role for HealthCentral’s RA site. Starting today, she will be our Social Ambassador, engaging with you and others in the community through Twitter and Facebook. Read Britt’s new post in which she shares more details of her new role.
And this is just the start. We are taking over Twitter! There are three events that you don’t want to miss.
This month, we are collaborating with CreakyJoints on two important Twitter chats about living with chronic illness. On May 4 at 6 PM ET, this month’s #CreakyChat topic is Living Independently with Chronic Illness. At the end of the month on May 27 at 2 PM ET, our #HealthTipsChat will talk about Making a Difference with Chronic Illness. We look forward to seeing you there!
Our third Twitter event is a takeover. The RA team will participate in a 36-hour #ChronicLife event, including a takeover of HealthCentral’s @Health_Tips account. We will share the many different ways our RA and other chronic conditions affect our lives, in big and small ways. Will you join us in flooding Twitter with chronic illness awareness?To prepare for the RA community taking over Twitter, make sure you follow HealthCentral’s @Health_Tips account and the RA team. We are
Lene — @TheSeatedView
Britt — @Hurtblogger
Leslie — @LeslieRott
Marianna — @AuntieStress
Vanessa — @RA2Joy
Going blue for May
We are also planning something fun for our Facebook page. Throughout the month of May, we’ll ask all of our wonderful readers to post photos of what you are doing with the colour blue to raise awareness. Some people use blue nail polish, others color their hair blue, some put up blue lights — the possibilities are endless! At the end of the month, we’ll choose the best photos for a slideshow.* We can’t wait to see the creative ways you will raise awareness this month!
A big moment in the journey with RA is when you reach the turning point. It is normal to start out completely overwhelmed, worried, even depressed, and coping badly. But at some point, almost all of us reach a point where we start to turn toward the light and embrace life again. Our new #LiveBold multimedia story Turning Points is an important addition to the conversation. Watching the journeys of Gay, Jodi, and Robin is nothing less than inspiring. Please share it with your networks to help raise awareness of RA.
Throughout the month of May, the RA site team will write posts related to our own turning points, sharing stories of what we are passionate about. They all relate to a passion for giving back and finding new ways to live better with RA.
Marianna’s post about assistive devices for RA symbolizes her dedication to helping others live easier lives. In her first post, Leslie will write about what brought her to making patient advocacy her career and in her second post, she’ll tell you about how a small injection created a personal turning point. In her post, Britt will write about giving back to the community, including some observations on the #ChronicLife event and Vanessa’s turning point will be about nurturing the RA community. I’ll write about my own turning point, as well as the CreakyJoints Arthritis Power app, an important turning point in including our voices in arthritis research.
To make sure you don’t miss anything, you may also wish to subscribe to the RA writers’ posts — click on their name to get to their profile where you can click subscribe in the top right-hand corner. You can also subscribe to the RA site newsletter, as well as on the other HealthCentral newsletters.
Have a wonderful awareness month!
What was your turning point? We look forward to hearing your stories both here on the RA site, as well as on our Facebook page.
* Note: submitting a photo on our Facebook page constitutes consent for HealthCentral to use that photo in a slideshow and promotional materials.
Lene Andersen is the Community Leader for HealthCentral’s RA Community. Lene (pronounced Lena) is an award-winning writer, health and disability advocate, and photographer living in Toronto. She’s written several books, including Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain, and 7 Facets: A Meditation on Pain, as well as the award-winning blog, The Seated View. Follow Lene on Twitter @TheSeatedView and on Facebook. Watch her story on HealthCentral.