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 old were you when you were first diagnosed with RA? I was 2½ years old. My mom tells me that before my diagnosis I was an energizer bunny, especially on the playground. However, when I started to limp and cry and couldn’t open the refrigerator door, she knew something was wrong. After taking me to the doctor, they began testing for various serious illnesses; on the order, the doctor wrote, “suspect arthritis.” I was soon diagnosed with JRA.


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