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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Spondylitis Association of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arthritis, Arthritis Research, Health

Mission: Our mission is to be a leader in the quest to cure AS and related diseases, and to empower those affected to live life to the fullest. There are more than 100 types of arthritis. For over 25 years, SAA has focused on just one - yours. So that no one has to face spondylitis alone.

Programs: SAA provides public and patient education programs to facilitate early diagnosis, promote effective treatment, and encourage self-help care for optimal quality of life. 

SAA’s website, www.spondylitis.org, is updated regularly with the latest news and information about spondylitis treatment, medications and research. In addition, information about SAA events and seminars, supportive programs and the online Message Board community can also be found here.

SAA hosts free educational seminars in different metropolitan areas throughout the United States each year. All seminars include an experienced rheumatologist who provides an overview of spondyloarthritis along with current medications and other available treatments. Secondary speakers complement the program with presentations on other topics of interest including exercise, physical therapy, occupational therapy, the emotional impact of living with spondylitis, etc. These seminars provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and meet other people from the area impacted by spondylitis.

SAA offers free online seminar events, referred to as webinars. These webinars allow people to learn about specific spondylitis-related topics in the comfort of their home without having to travel. SAA hosts approximately 3 webinars each year; the live event is free and open to everyone in the spondylitis community. 

SAA provides a library of audio interviews (podcasts) to SAA members, which include questions posed to spondylitis experts to provide information on a wide range of topics including spondylitis symptoms, medications, treatment, complications, etc. Members are also asked to submit their own questions to be answered during future podcasts.

Community Stories

117 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Orfilio V.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great for people with the disease , great information , great support

Ben K.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SAA has been extremely valuable for me. A fantastic resource for anyone effected by spondyloarthritis and related conditions. I've been a member for several years and particularly enjoy the support group/educational meetings they host. Very grateful for SAA!

Jill A.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Had a wonderful experience at their recent event. Very well organized and a great resource for families dealing with AS. Richard is a real gem - they are lucky to have him at the helm!

Client Served

Rating: 5

SAA has kept me informed with their information on studies and up to date info. The treatment plan that I saw helped me and my doctor. I recently switched some medication due to this info. There is support from SAA and all the members.
They are great!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They have worked closely with me to start my state's first support group. I have absolutely loved every aspect of working with this organization. They have by far the most accurate knowledge of any other source and they have a strong dedication to raising awareness.

Cyndi B.

Client Served

Rating: 3

I have received pamphlets explaining my condition from SAof A after seeing their info to request more. I get more info by seeing what they post online/ their Facebook posts. It is often good info to share with others to help them understand my condition and what I have gone thru. It's great to have validation about what to many is an " invisible disability" that is very real and debilitating!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAA is the best, most ethical non profit group I have ever attended. They really help you cope with a horrible disease that most people cannot even spell or have even heard of. I learned the most by attending meetings and meeting other members. The SAA embraced me like family and is run like a family as well. I would highly recommend this nonprofit.

Mary Kay Sharp N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SAA has been a wonderful resource, offering support and materials I couldn't find anywhere else. AS is an overwhelming diagnosis. SAA helped me put my situation in perspective and take positive steps to improve it. I joined to receive the magazine and love it. I don't know how they accomplish so much with such a small staff.

Jacquie C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After my diagnosis 17 years ago SAA was the first great website I found. It was full of information and reassurance about a disease most people had never heard of! They have stayed on the forefront of new developments and continually expand their information and support for all of us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since I was diagnosed with Spondyloarthritis, the Spondylitis Association of America has been a huge source of support for me. Their support group has been a lifesaver! It helps me to meet others with similar experiences, feel that I'm not alone, and get useful information on doctors, treatments, and lifestyle changes. I also appreciate SAA's Facebook posts, and the magazine Spondylitis Plus, which have both provided me with crucial information. The existence of SAA makes life much more manageable for people like me with spondylitis!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff and volunteers of SAA are very knowledgeable about AS and are passionate about providing as much detailed educational information as possible. Their web site is an amazing resource as are their great volunteer support group leaders. I'm continually impressed by the compassion and caring of this organization. SAA is clearly very dedicated in it's quest to help find a cure for AS.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAA is a World Class organization, run by a remarkable, dedicated, and brilliant leadership team. I will forever be indebted to this amazing organization and the phenomenal individuals who work so hard everyday to advocate and improve the lives of spondyloarthritis patients.
In 2009 I had my first case of Uveitis and tested positive for HLA-B27. Since 1999 I had been riddled with chronic joint pain, "phantom" illnesses which included gut problems, not being able to walk some days, swollen fingers and crippling fatigue. Finding the Spondylitis Association of America was like Manna. I finally had access to all the medical information I needed and an amazing support group of professionals and peers who were also experiencing so much of the frustration of having an undiagnosed condition. I was quickly fully diagnosed through Doctors recommended through the network, was able to manage my physical condition through exercise and treatment recommended through the SAA. I often wonder what my life and health would look like if the SAA didn't exist. This is a beautiful and truly altruistic organization.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

SAA is passionate about spondylitis research, advocacy, and education - and they're the only non-profit out there dedicated specifically to spondylitis. Ive been a member for many years; my father and uncle both had Ankylosing Spondylitis, and now I do, too. I am so thankful this non-profit exists!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SAA is spearheading critical research in ankylosong Spondylitis and the related auto immune diseases. SAA also helps support the individual support groups around the country.

2 Teresa98

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had AS for 35 years and only discovered the group a few years ago. Since them they have helped so much plus now I know there are others out there, it's not just me. Now,with there help I distribute information when asked. A lot of people would be completely alone without SAA.

2 Randall S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Spondylitis of America is an exemplary non-profit striving to find a cure for persons suffering from ankylosingspondilitis and other related diseases. I proudly serve on the board of directors for Spondylitis of Ameica and strongly support our mission.

2 Means D.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had AS for 48 years and when the Spondylitis Association of America began we who have this disease started seeing progress toward better management of the disease and its many ramifications. The research has been fruitful and continues to give us more than just hope; it gives us tangible paths to a better, more productive life.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Below is a pasted email I sent to The SAA Philadelphia Support group...a few years ago.
(I am the SAA group leader)
I have the disease for 47 years...
I was formally diagnosed 24 years ago...I then joined SAA.
SAA is the #2 contributor to my success with my disease...
(I am #1...my attitude and determination)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To let the disease control you.
-or-
you control your disease.
-to choose...
(that’s the easy part)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi Rich,
(I am sharing this with the whole group)

I have been thinking about your email, your childhood, your disease.
I hope feedback from the group has been helpful.

A question occurred to me......Does a traumatic childhood contribute to an early onset/trigger of the disease?
...and something that we carry though adulthood?

I am asking the group to look at themselves, their offspring or other family members.
Is there a potential truth to this thought?

In the past, I have asked the group to look at themselves and note if there was an event in their life that preceded their onset of the disease.
I would say ~half of the group remembers a trauma (e.g.: fall/injury) or a bacteria type event (usually gastro-intestinal) prior to the initial onset of the disease.

I looked at myself, looked at the words that described your childhood.
We both experienced onset of symptoms in our younger years.
(I assume you know that psoriasis is a symptom)

My childhood (like yours)...not normal....
Two orphanages, five grade schools...the streets of Chicago.
I remember sleeping in $1/night flop houses...in the back seat of a car.
(I taught myself to read...from reading comic books)

My childhood was memorable...(contributed to who I am now...)
I consider myself very fortunate....I know people who have survived worse....

Stress is one the triggers for symptoms.
Could an unconventional childhood, abnormal stress contribute to the early onset of the disease????
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Playing the cards you are dealt.

Walt says.....
It’s not about the quality of the cards you are dealt..
it’s about how good of a card player you are....

If you are a member of the SAA Philly support group....
I feel comfortable in saying you have been dealt a below average hand.
(in terms of health)

SAA and this group is an opportunity for you to discover if you have the ability to become an above average card player.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some of you know this of me....

I have been fighting my disease 47+ years.
I consider myself successful.
I consider myself fortunate.
I consider myself an above average card player.

My symptoms (over 47 years);
-Sacroiliitis – Gone (the pain part)
-Crohn’s – Gone
-Heart valve – Gone (I am still trying to figure out how I reversed that one :-)
-Tendinitis – Gone (thank you Mary for turning me towards emulsified Vitamin D...Nicole isn't Vitamin D grand? )
-Uveitis - Gone (I know my trigger...and avoid it)
-Fusion, spine – work in progress .... My sacroiliac joint – fused. Middle/upper back/neck...will not allow it to fuse.
-Fusion – rib cage....work in progress, will not allow it to fuse.
-Diabetes – work in progress (I am normal based on behavior changes diet/exercise.... I have learned having Spondylitis increases probability of acquiring this disease)(from SAA)
-Asthma – Gone....I have learned having Spondylitis increases probability of acquiring this symptom.
(Diabetes and asthma symptoms acquired early fifties)
-Joints - symptom free (pain/symptoms gone or minimized...do not know if it’s exercise, supplements or diet changes...or all the above)

I am med free.
I have an attitude.

One can enjoy an interesting and productive life and still have spondylitis.
(for me it’s a lifetime pursuit)

2 Joan85

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Spondylitis Association is a go to site for anyone needing up to date information on Spondylitis! I am the Spondylitis support Group Leader in our area and find this site extremely helpful as well as the entire association!
I often send people to this site if they have symptoms of spondylitis but aren't even sure about their condition.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Spondylitis Association of America for 20 years. The SAA is the most accurate source of current information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of A.S. and other types of spondyloarthritis. There website has a wonderful catalogue of past issues of the quarterly news magazine "Spondylitis Plus". The SAA also provides support groups in many areas of the country. Finally there is a wide selection of literature available on line along with many webinars.