Celebrities and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Part 2

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arhtritis ribbon

Celebrity RA

There have been a few famous people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is well known how Renoir became crippled by RA. And Lucille Ball’s RA was scrupulously hidden from the public for many years. I wrote a post about some famous women with RA in the nineteenth century.

Yesterday, we mentioned two more recent examples, Meredith Boyd and Camryn Manheim. As significant as their support to our movement would be, I do not think we ought to rely upon them to get our message across. We may have to move our cause forward ourselves.

Movements for cures

Perhaps we need to consider the great success of the movement to cure breast cancer. Did you notice that their achievements have been almost duplicated in recent years by the movement for awareness of woman’s heart disease? Maybe RA should be the next to do so.

Repeatedly, I am asked: What is our color ribbon?* Who are our celebrities? Where is our movement? Why don’t we have commercials that explain Rheumatoid Arthritis the way there have been for diabetes and atherosclerosis?

I don’t know how to find a celebrity for RA

I don’t know how to get a celebrity to step forward and speak the truth about Rheumatoid Arthritis like Nick Jonas does for diabetes.  I don’t know how to get people to donate millions of dollars for ad campaigns the way so many have for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I don’t know why there is such a persistent misunderstanding of the facts about RA that we cannot even get an accurate article on RA in Woman’s Day.

What I do know about RA

1. I know information is key

I know that we must advance accurate information about Rheumatoid Arthritis in order for the world to ever become concerned about whether or not there is a cure. Why would people care whether there is a cure for RA? Until they are informed, they tend to view it as a minor problem. I did not care whether Rheumatoid Arthritis was cured either until I got it, because I did not know it was a serious disease until after it suddenly made me fairly disabled.

2. I know where the money is

Money pays for TV ads. Money buys full page magazine spreads. So money informs. And money is the only way to host star-spangled galas that bring even more money into a movement – so that more people can be informed…

We know where there is enough money to progress a Rheumatoid Arthritis awareness movement. It is at Roche, and Johnson & Johnson and Amgen/Wyeth and Abbott and the other companies who sell Rheumatoid Arthritis medications. What if their ads portrayed RA accurately?

3. I know who our celebrities are

We’ll talk more about that next time. Who do you think it is? Celebrities and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Part 3: Being our own celebrities.

*Note: An RA ribbon! We finally have one!

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 at 7:45 am and is filed under Communication and Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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