Category Archives: Featured

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54 Million Reasons to Give on #GivingTuesday

Picture this: You’re walking through your local CVS Health store. Your hips and toes have already started burning. All you want to do is get back into your car to sit, but even that’s a challenge. As you make your way to the pain aisle, you want something — anything — to make it go away. You put a hot and cold compress into your cart. But bending down to lift the Epsom salt is going to be a challenge. Should you ask the stranger shopping next to you for help?

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Not Even Arthritis Can Slow Down This Female NASCAR Driver

Natalie Decker holds a fundraiser to benefit others with arthritis.

At the tender age of 5,Natalie Deckerknew what she wanted to be when she grew up. Raised in Wisconsin, Natalie’s father, Chuck, ran a motor sports track that hosted the World Championship Snowmobile Derby. Natalie wasn’t much into snowmobiling, but she was mesmerized by go-karts and told her dad that her big dream was to race in NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing).

Today, at 22 and living in North Carolina, Natalie has made her dream come true, becoming one of the top young drivers in the NASCAR scene. Along the way, she has broken records and continues climbing the racing ladder as she aims to achieve more victories and accolades on short tracks across the country. Last year, she was the highest finishing female on a superspeedway in Automobile Racing Club of America competition, taking fifth place. Her biggest dream is making the Cup Series, NASCAR’s top racing category.

What makes her victories even more impressive is that Natalie grew up with childhood arthritis, which she has battled since birth. After keeping quiet about her illness most of her life, afraid of being perceived as weak, she recently revealed her illness to the world and announced on her social media channels the fundraiser she’s doing to support the Arthritis Foundation. She’ll announce it again in person to her fans at the Homestead Miami-Speedway’s NASCAR season finale on Nov. 15.

Fans were able to buy a spot on the hood of Natalie’s No. 54 DGR-Crosley Toyota Tundra. Donations are still welcome, and those who donate will still receive swag that’s exclusive to the fundraiser. The hood will be auctioned off after the race, along with Natalie’s race-worn Fyshe Fire Suit, Arai helmet, racing boots, gloves and a special jacket. All proceeds from the fundraiser will help raise awareness and funds for the Arthritis Foundation’s mission, fueling research for a cure as well as resources and support for those of all ages who struggle with the disease, including life-changing juvenile arthritis camps nationwide.


Q: What was it like growing up with arthritis?

答:我生下来就有,两岁时被诊断出患有此病。我的下巴和其他关节有问题。我每周服用一次大剂量的化疗药物,持续了10多年。它使我非常疲劳,还使我头痛。我总是感到恶心。我小的时候,我的手臂是45度角,我花了一段时间才伸直它们。我的膝盖总是肿得很厉害。At about 12 years old, I went into remission and got off the med.

Q: Were you unable to do certain things?

A: My pediatrician told me he couldn’t believe all I could do as a child. I was doing all these sports, whether it was dance, hockey, soccer, and I was just getting into go-kart racing at age 9. He told me, “I don’t know how you’re doing these things. It should be physically impossible.”

Q: Did you have any past involvement with the Arthritis Foundation?

A: I really wish I did, but I didn’t. I don’t think my parents knew about the Arthritis Foundation and the benefits they provide, and we were always so busy. Arthritis Foundation camps for kids with JA are so cool. Being involved in those camps would have helped me so much. Through this current fundraiser, we want to help more kids be part of that.


A: Growing up, my family and extended family would travel all over on the weekends to racing events. I loved it. From my first go-kart, I wanted to work really hard to get into NASCAR. It’s been a lot of work but so much fun. Everyone you meet becomes family. Racing is still a male-dominated sport, so it’s really cool to see how that’s changing. It’s no longer weird to be a girl in the racing arena.

Q: Isn’t racing dangerous?

A: With all the NASCAR rules they have and the gear I wear, I feel that racing is really safer than driving on the highway.

Q: What do you say to other girls, including those with a chronic disease like arthritis, to encourage them?



A: Yes, and I’ve earned it. The easiest way to earn respect in racing is to race your race, race clean and do well. Win races the right way. Be the best you can be and be nice. Be yourself, male or female, and respect others.




A: I came out of remission not long ago. The pain and stiffness now are 10 times worse than when I was younger. I have to take care of myself. When I need to sit down or take a break, I do. Even when you’re racing in your car, for hours at a time in one position, that can be really painful. I have to be really prepared, recover fast and know what I can and can’t do in the gym. This past year, I went to the eye doctor and was told my eyes are drier than someone who’s 80 years old. I’ve gotten a med for that because having dry eyes is really painful. I want to start infusions, like a lot of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and will start that soon.

Q: Tell us about your arthritis fundraiser.

A: We want to help more kids go to camp and advance arthritis research. I’m so thankful the Arthritis Foundation gives people with arthritis the resources, local programs and support they need, so they can chase their dreams, like becoming a NASCAR driver, and live a full life. I was very nervous about sharing my story for a long time. But I’m so happy I’m finally sharing it to help and be an inspiration to others. Though I’ve learned to work through the condition’s hardships, it pains me to know what these kids go through every day. We need the public’s help, and together we can change lives!

No One Should Be in Debilitating Pain, Especially at 3 Years Old

Meet Shannan O’hara-Levi

当山南·奥哈拉-利瓦伊只有7个月大的时候,她的母亲注意到她会从午睡中醒来,哭着抓着她的膝盖。奥哈拉太太带她去看医生,医生却置之不理,告诉她这只是“成长的烦恼”,最终会消失的。具有讽刺意味的是,在几年后的一次例行体检中,儿科医生问奥哈拉夫人,为什么山南的膝盖又红又肿,没有早点来检查。That’s when Shannan was finally diagnosed withjuvenile arthritis (JA).Continue readingNo One Should Be in Debilitating Pain, Especially at 3 Years Old

conference of champions

2018年生活是的!Conference of Champions

Building Momentum for the Arthritis Movement

Bringing people with arthritis together has been an Arthritis Foundation specialty for 70 years. Helping them make connections with each other and with the experts and resources they need can change their lives.

This November, we’ll renew our promise to empower people with arthritis to live their best life at the2018年生活是的!Conference of Champions.来自全国各地的数百名关节炎基金会工作人员、热情的志愿者和慷慨的合作伙伴将齐聚巴尔的摩,关注“联系的力量”。”

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mason merager giving tuesday 2017

Three Days Lost and 1,000 Miles to See a Doctor


That’s what Mason Merager and his mom have experienced over the past decade, just so they could see a specialist trained totreat childhood arthritis. They’ve had to plan their trips to coincide with summer school breaks and end-of-year holidays. Without financial support, they would have had to sacrifice Mason’s health because of the overwhelming costs.

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10th Annual National Gathering

Highlights from the 10th Annual National Gathering Conference

What a wonderful weekend! The 10th annual National Gathering Conference was held last weekend June 9-11 in Kansas City and what a weekend it was! This year’s conference was particularly special – we celebrated 10 amazing years of this wonderful Gathering which was reflected in the conference theme “10 Years & Growing,” and throughout the conference.

The Gathering was created for adults living with arthritis and rheumatic diseases to gather together and learn from healthcare and patient experts how to live their best life. We all know living with arthritis is difficult, but at the Gathering we learn together how to combat life’s daily challenges.
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Akylosing Spodylitis Treatment

FDA OKs a New Biologic for RA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the biologic drug sarilumab (Kevzara) for the treatment ofrheumatoid arthritis(RA). Sarilumab blocks a protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which plays a key role in many inflammatory diseases, including RA. It’s the secondIL-6 inhibitorto receive FDA approval for RA; the other, tocilizumab (Actemra), got the nod in 2010.
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