September 15, 2013
When I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in 1990, I felt totally alone. My brother also had it, but he lived in another state. I met a fellow AS sufferer at an Arthritis Foundation aquatics center. She gave me old copies of the Spondylitis Association's newsletter. I will be forever grateful to her. I joined the association that year and have been a member ever since. I have attended SAA educational forums in two states, attended support group meetings, participated in the online message board, and promoted SAA at health fairs in my state where I also represent the Arthritis Foundation. One of the most important ways the SAA has helped me was by printing an article in its newsletter by a rheumatologist in my home state. When I moved back home, I looked up that rheumatologist's office, and even though he had retired, I was able to find my new rheumatologist at his old office. That doctor is still my rheumatologist 13 years later. I know that I can count on the SAA to put the money it receives to good use: investing in research, sponsoring educational forums, and providing the information AS patients and their families need to know.
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MY ROLE:Client Served