When someone with rheumatoid arthritis is surrounded by people determined to live above the illness, an interesting thing happens.

The person embraces this challenge. Connects more. Smiles more. Reaches for newer paths. Holds their care circle—family, friends, treatment team—tighter. Maybe even shares what they’ve learned with others taking their first steps along this journey.

The RA Guy Foundation strengthens these circles of support. And that makes all the difference in the world.

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Learning to live with and adapt to a chronic illness is a challenge. But it can be done. Accept your feelings—and talk about them. Stay active. Eat smart. Stick with a treatment plan that works for you. Hold on to the things that make you happy. And find and celebrate the hidden gifts this illness has given you.

—de Ridder, et al. Psychological Adjustment to Chronic Disease. Lancet. 2008

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We all have stories of how this illness has impacted us—and how we rose above the challenge. What’s your story?

How has your outlook on life changed since your diagnosis? My whole life has been shaped by JRA; sometimes I daydream about what I would be doing if I never had it. Over the years, my coping skills have shifted dramatically. As a youngster I toughed it out. Then I went through a period where I blamed myself when the arthritis was worse (not a fun time!). Then I finally began to learn some real skills to live well, pain, disease, or not. Today, my life consists of lots of rest, exercise, diet, stress management, attitude, complementary health care, and maintaining a support system.


Every dollar donated online goes directly to our programs to support people living with rheumatoid arthritis.