Awareness Ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Finally

The unique awareness ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Awareness Ribbon for Rheumatoid ArthritisPatients distinguish themselves from arthritis or other diseases with an awareness ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis / Rheumatoid Disease

Does color really matter?

Think about the Yellow Brick Road. Would it be the same if it were the black brick road? Or the blue brick road? Of course not. But, we know that the yellow brick road will lead to answers.

A specific awareness ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Since there was no ribbon specifically designated, people with Rheumatoid Disease (PRD) sometimes used blue, which indicates arthritis. Some added purple, the color of Lupus, to the blue ribbon to signify autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid arthritis was in no-mans-land without a unique identifying ribbon or day. As part of the first Rheumatoid Awareness Day, the first annual day specifically to raise awareness of this disease, the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation created the indigo and gold ribbon.

Where did the colors come from?

Meaning of indigo in the awareness ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis awareness ribbonIn What color is indigo? About.com answers it this way: “Indigo appears between blue and violet in a rainbow. Purple grapes and blueberries are indigo. The deep blue of dark denim blue jeans is indigo.” Choosing a color between blue and violet (purple) is logical, but its symbolism is also important.

Some of the many color-meaning sites have an indigo section, with common themes like these: “The second color from the bottom in a rainbow is indigo. A deepened version of the color blue would give you indigo. The color indigo means infinity. It also symbolizes wisdom, intuition, and self-mastery. This color is known to be the bridge between the finite and the infinite. The energy of the color blue is multiplied by indigo.”

The awareness ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis is also good as gold

African iris flowerWhen PRD were surveyed here on the blog a couple of years ago, gold / yellow was a common suggestion for an awareness color. It’s understandable that people want something hopeful and bright such as gold, which has always been the color of triumph and optimism. Think of a gold star in school or a gold medal in the Olympics. Gold reminds us that a cure is on the horizon.

The awareness ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis / Rheumatoid Disease is deep indigo representing true awareness and knowledge that is needed for RA, along with a strip of gold like sunlight on the horizon.

Note: both the phrases “Rheumatoid Arthritis” and “Rheumatoid Disease” have been used on this page to benefit those who are searching online. New searchers usually type “rheumatoid arthritis” because that’s all they know. We are also educating the search engines through this process.

Recommended reading

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

30 thoughts on “Awareness Ribbon for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Finally

    • January 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm
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      Here’s the link to the RPF’s store Brenda. A donation goes to RPF with each purchase. We are working on more ribbon items. Do you want a pin?

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      • February 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm
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        Kelly, I’m a new member of the RPF and would LOVE a pin. I don’t see one for sale on the RPF site. Any ideas?

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        • December 6, 2015 at 3:39 pm
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          Pins are included in member kits – we are behind & I’m sorry. Hopefully I can get a volunteer to help me with that soon.

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  • January 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm
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    Irregardless to the colors chosen, although I am glad you explained why these colors were chosen, I am just thrilled with the response to a Rheumatoid Awareness Day. I did put it on my FB page and invited most but did not really expect a huge return on it. How surprised and excited I am that sooooooo many have signed up! Way to get our message out Kelly….and thank you for all that you do to make others aware of our daily struggle to cope with our disease and pain.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm
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    can the Rheumatoid ribbon be purchased? If so from whom?

    Thank you.

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  • January 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm
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    What wonderful things you are creating for RD (1st time I have used that, yay!) – LUV the colours & reasons for choosing them, thank you so much x x x x

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  • January 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm
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    Just ordered buttons & car magnet. Thanks for all you do for us! 🙂

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  • January 27, 2013 at 11:17 am
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    Is there a ribbon pin that I can put on a jacket or coat? I looked but didn’t see one.

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    • January 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm
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      Leslie, I saw buttons there last night so far. I’ll let them know people are asking for pins.

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  • January 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm
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    Great idea – yes gold is great and the meaning of the yellow/gold.

    I would have had the colours around the other way more gold with Indigo border.

    I was recently in hospital (suburban) and the ignorance of the nursing staff was appauling. I was treated as though there was nothing wrong with me, I was just looking for sympathy, a whinger about nothing. Told to get off my lazy ass and walk to the toilet. No wheelchair available. etc.

    Rheumatoid has got to my spine and I am wheelchair bound because a surgeon getting my foot operation wrong.

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    • January 27, 2013 at 4:41 pm
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      I’m so sorry to hear about this. I can think of a hundred other stories like this that are so sad. It happens in airports and stores, but in hospitals people should know better. This is what part of the reason we need awareness.
      Several people in the medical profession themselves have become patients and posted here how little they understood until they were struck by it.

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    • November 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm
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      just happened upon this comment from earlier this year. last week was my first hospital stay ever – this is how it was for me too. everyone acted like I should be able to do anything and any symptoms were just drama. They had no idea… someday I’ll write about how awful it was. I need some time to pass first maybe…

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  • January 31, 2013 at 8:01 am
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    I sometimes consider telling people I have a lupus-like illness and not being any more specific. When I stumbled when walking across the room to view something a computer repair person wanted to show me, I explained that it was due to rheumatoid arthritis, forgetting and using the term I seldom use. He literally pointed to his little finger, saying he had that in his little finger. I couldn’t look at my husband’s face because I knew we’d both start laughing, but I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Instead, I briefly explained that rheumatoid disease was a systemic disease that attacks heart, lungs, and other organs as well as bones, and then I moved right on and turned the conversation back to the computer problem. In the past, I wouldn’t have wanted to risk embarrassing him or seeming like an old person who always had to “teach” something. However, I have a young neighbor and an adult daughter battling this disease, too, and I thought about them when I decided to say what I said.

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    • January 31, 2013 at 8:40 am
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      Thank you for sharing Linda. So many of us have had the “little finger” experience and just are dumbfounded. It’s funny how if it were about someone else it’s easier to speak up but when it’ about oneself, we’re usually quiet. I love how your focus on others makes it all make more sense.

      Reply
  • February 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm
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    An RA Ribbon is a great idea. However, it had better not be tied. Tying shoes is hard enough. LOL!

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  • April 30, 2013 at 12:10 am
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    My mother passed away 2/22/13. She suffered from RA for about 10 years and it progressively got worse. All the pills and shots did nothing. She developed a infection in her joints became septic and passed away at 56! If anyone can help me please do. I want to educate myself on RA. The symptoms,causes and treatment. I would love information, pamphlets and the name of foundations I can help donate to. I want to know where I can buy ribbons, magnets t shirts anything. It’s too late for my mom but I want to help in anyway I can. I want to educate myself, friends, family my community. Thank you to all who may take the time to address me.

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  • September 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm
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    Finally,I think it’s great. I also have been dealing with ra since 1994 and I know that most people have no idea about what the disease actually all about and I some times feel frustrated and alone.

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  • September 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm
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    I would also be interested in knowing how to start a support group in my area.

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  • October 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm
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    It’s great that we with Rheumatoid arthritis finally have our own ribbon and not just a put-together one, but I was wondering if there is also a ribbon for autoimmune diseases in general.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2015 at 7:33 pm
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    Hi ! I’m so Grateful to learn that RA have a ribbon . I’m 47 yrs. old and I’ve been battling RA since I was diagnosed in 2012 . It haven’t been easy but I’m Thankful for each day I live . The sad part about having RA is trying to educate family , friends an associates about the disease . Even after doing so they still don’t understand the disease and they’ll make you feel like you’re a lier . So what I’ve to do is disassociate my self with none believers . It hurts to know that you’re love ones don’t believe . I go to bed crying , I wake up crying . I don’t want sympathy but I want understanding especially when people ask how are you & you tell them and they reply back saying it could be worse or you’re fine etc. maybe it could be worse but what I’m feeling at the time is worse to me . How dare people try to know my PAIN because they don’t . They don’t know our PAIN . And if they were battling RA I just wonder would they say . Thanks for listening and my Prayers goes out to everyone battling RA . God Bless , I Love Y’all More Always . Keep The Faith . I would LOVE a Ribbon and I would also like to know if you have T-Shirts ? Please email me the website so that I can make a purchase . Thank You , God Bless

    Reply
    • November 24, 2015 at 8:37 pm
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      Dear Paula, I just want to say: I KNOW RIGHT?!No one knows how bad severe RA / RD is unless they live with it – and judging it as not-so-bad is in my kids’ words “evil.”
      I know you don’t want sympathy – you just want to be correctly interpreted/understood (not misjudged or dismissed). I was dismissed by a friend today who said “well you are lucky. your hands look good.” I can’t use them to do most things, but to him, they look good – so it’s ok…
      Here is a link to the t-shirt store I’m remodeling right now. There are some new designs already. http://www.zazzle.com/ra_warrior?rf=238310658218825349&tc=RAW
      Stay tuned on the ribbon – I hope to have something to announce soon.

      Reply
  • December 19, 2015 at 11:39 am
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    I just got diagnosed with RA and I am 42 yrs old . I really want to learn about it more . I am glad I finally got diagnosed because for a year I ance been in so much pain . I just thought it was really nothing . Now I know different. Please any information anyone can provide will be great. Thanks!

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  • February 2, 2016 at 11:25 am
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    I too have had RA for the 12 years and most days it is a struggle for me to concentrate, get energy, and move my hands and shoulders. Most family and friends do not understand the pain or maybe it’s because I put on such a front to cover up my pain they don’t see it in my eyes. I want to thank you Kelly Young for the t shirts you have designed. I especially like the one that says hug gently. I plan on buying one as soon as I find another job. I recently had to quit my last job of 8 years per doctor advise because it was too hard on my body and I was struggling to make it work. It’s also nice yo see a website where we can share our struggles

    Reply
  • February 7, 2016 at 3:27 pm
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    I am an individual recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I am also a registered nurse 30 + years in the healthcare field. Nurses can be some of the most ignorant, impatient, self-centered individuals in this world, believe it or not many nurses aren’t in their field or simply the wrong reasons. My disease and chronic pain has certainly gifted me with an awakening of sorts as a human being and as a nurse. I sincerely thank God everyday for simply life, the ability to continue to walk, and in recognizing that all people are different and often have problems that we cannot see or simply even imagine. I am a firm firm believer in the idea,”Do not judge another until you have walked a mile (or even half a mile or perhaps a quarter of a mile or just a few steps, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, in there moccasins.” Rheumatoid arthritis is truly more than joint disfiguration, joint pain and inflammation, and the multi-system complex problems which occur as a result of being immunocompromised from the disease. Perhaps more significantly important to consider is the depression, the loneliness, the inability to often socialize due to pain and the crippling effects, e.t.c. rheumatoid arthritis is very complex common very often misunderstood, very often under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed, very expensive to treat, and affects all persons within a family unit. Nurses and medical professionals need to be aware of all of these facts and learn to look within themselves in trying to understand this awful disease more completely and more fairly. Pain is not visible to one’s eyes. Pain is that which the patient says it is. Nurses, be advised, you are not the individual to be determining whether or not an individual is truly in pain or not. As nurses, it is your responsibility, responsibilities, to make sure that patients are safe, free of pain, and comfortable within the confines of the hospital setting. You must trust that the patients are expressing their pain to you in an effort of seeking comfort to their pain, if it is just for those few days if they are in the healthcare facility. Often patients with rheumatoid arthritis within the confines of their home are not provided with understanding or admission to the fact that they have a crippling debilitating disease and often go beyond doing that which is even advisable in trying to cover up their symptoms or to prevent others from perceiving that they may be faking or truly not in pain. Nurses not understand altimately that rheumatoid arthritis comes with flares and periods and times of Silence of the disease. The goal of medication therapy is to put the disease in a releasable state but nurses must know that this is not a constant state as symptoms to come and go depending on the level of stress the environment the individuals immune response… nurses must understand that it is not their responsibility to determine one’s level of pain or even if they are in pain. A nurse’s responsibility lies within following the physician’s order and assisting the patient to the highest most respectable level of comfort and care, physically and emotionally and spiritually. I hope that you nurses who do not possess that understand or Never blessed with such a terrible disease as rheumatoid arthritis or other immune system dysfunctions which carry with him similar symptoms.

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  • February 2, 2017 at 10:01 am
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    Great article and explanation for the RD awareness ribbon. I’m a little confused because when I searched on ‘awareness ribbon’ site it shows blue and purple as the ribbon colors?

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  • February 2, 2017 at 10:10 am
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    Sorry hit post instead of preview…
    I was also wondering where to purchase the ribbon pin? Thank you…. Off to read more of your blog

    Reply
  • July 9, 2017 at 2:13 am
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    thank you for the information

    Reply

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