Tag Archives: rheumatoid arthritis

Survive & Thrive: Together in Isolation

It’s game on for Rob Gronkowski and Matt Iseman on the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast.

This was not your typical discussion about chronic pain and arthritis. There was laughing. There were singing and dancing. There was even juggling. It was just what we needed to cut through the isolation of the new coronavirus world. Former pro football player Rob Gronkowski – known by fans as “Gronk” – teamed up with Matt Iseman, host ofAmerican Ninja Warriorand a longtime friend of the Arthritis Foundation who has rheumatoid arthritis, to share their stories and some laughs on the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast. Together they will be hostingCOVID-19 Celebrity Challenge – Survive & Thrive: Together in Isolation, presented by CBDMEDIC™ to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, on Facebook Live.

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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.



A: I was born with it and was diagnosed at age 2. I had problems with my jaw and other joints. I took a high dosage of a chemo drug once a week for over 10 years. It made me very tired and gave me headaches. I always felt sick and nauseous. When I was young, my arms were locked at a 45-degree angle, and it took a while to straighten them all the way. My knees were always so swollen. 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.



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.

Q: You recently flew with the Thunderbirds. What was that like?

A: That was absolutely amazing. I never thought in a million years I would ever do that. I ran into a Thunderbird crew in Daytona, then we connected again in Vegas, and I got to fly with them, which was another dream come true.

Q: Does arthritis affect you today?



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!

Bonnie Simpson Mason


医学博士邦尼·辛普森·梅森(Bonnie Simpson Mason)以一种强有力的姿势面对会议室,双手放在臀部,医学生们从座位上站起来模仿她的姿势。泰然自信,和蔼但坚定,她分享了她的成功秘诀:“做一个发起者。是一个问题解决者。更善于思考。做那个早到晚走,总是充满热情的人。”Continue reading邦妮·辛普森·梅森以前是补骨师。现在她培养梦想。

rheumatoid arthritis research

ELMO1 – More Than Just Your Friendly, Red Sesame Street Character!

Dr. Sanja Arandjelovic has been studying inflammation and arthritis for a while – specifically, how a gene called ELMO1 is related toarthritis symptomsin mice. In 2010, the Arthritis Foundation awarded Dr. Arandjelovic the Philip S. Maaram Esq. Research (Planned Giving) 3-year grant for a project that studied cell enzymes related to joint inflammation inrheumatoid arthritis (RA)in mice.

在这项研究中,Arandjelovic博士与Kodi Ravichandran博士和他的研究团队在University of Virginiaon a related project, examining the process ofjoint inflammation在RA。他们的工作可能会为与类风湿性关节炎相关的疼痛发作提供线索,并导致新的治疗方法。

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

Meet Shannan O’hara-Levi

When Shannan O’hara-Levi was only 7 months old, her mother noticed that she would wake up from naps crying and grabbing at her knees. Mrs. O’hara took her to the doctor, only to be brushed off and told it was just “growing pains” that would eventually go away. Ironically, a few years later at a routine checkup, the pediatrician asked Mrs. O’hara why Shannan wasn’t brought in earlier for her red, swollen knees. That’s when Shannan was finally diagnosed withjuvenile arthritis (JA).Continue readingNo One Should Be in Debilitating Pain, Especially at 3 Years Old

spotlight on dr dougherty

Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Edward Doherty

为什么我的免疫系统攻击我的关节?原因是什么?If you haverheumatoid arthritis (RA),这可能是你在某个时候想知道的。爱德华·多尔蒂(Edward Doherty)博士也对此感到好奇,目前正在研究。Dr. Doherty and his co-investigator, Dr. Pathricia Tilstam are studying key cells that drive inflammation in their 2-year关节炎基金会-funded project, “MIF/CD74 signaling as a new candidate for immunotherapy of rheumatoid arthritis”. With autoimmune disorders like RA, something triggers the immune system to malfunction and attack healthy cells, causing inflammation and disease. Dr. Doherty and Dr. Tilstam are looking for some of the triggers to help develop more effective treatments to stop progression and joint destruction.

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andrea avery

Andrea Avery: Composing My Life

Last week at the Conference of Champions, Andrea Avery, author and Arizona-based Foundation volunteer, shared her gripping story, intertwining her love for piano and the reality of her arthritis. Beyond sharing her personal story with hundreds of volunteers in Phoenix, she also met and performed with her inspiration, Byron Janis, master and renowned pianist. See below for an excerpt from her book, Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano.

Continue readingAndrea Avery: Composing My Life