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 you were first diagnosed? When I changed my attitude about how I was going to continue to live with RA, things really started happening, and I mean that sincerely. Challenge affects all of us. Has there been a time when you were there for someone who needed you? Yes, I have been there and offered my support. I encourage positivity, but it is alright to be real about this disease. There can be some really rough days. You just cannot remain in the valley too long. There needs to be a healthy balance.

Brenda Kleinsasser served as the editor of CreakyJoints Poet’s Corner (& Artists Too).


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