What Can We Do About the Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Problem?

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Why do I believe we need Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness?

An RA warrior in t-shirtWhen I got full blown Rheumatoid Arthritis, I had no idea I’d gotten stuck with an unpopular disease. It was a surprise when one person after another brushed aside my explanation with things like, “You are too young to have that” or “Oh yeah, I have that too.” I got a lot more quiet about it.

Gradually, I realized that I was not only stuck with an incurable disease, it was one that nobody cared much about. Every patient I talked with had found this same invisible wall when talking about RA. Some tell of family members who don’t have compassion or employers who won’t tolerate invisible pains. I do know patients who have been fired due to RA and others who hide their diagnosis to keep a job.

Public perception of RA is atrocious. Sources like ABC News publish ridiculous statements that lead readers to think that it’s easily treated. Publications by the Arthritis Foundation make it sound as if the pain of RA is exaggerated by the patients. When even they act like RA can be treated by natural means, what can RA patients say to their friends who pressure them to give up chemo in exchange for the latest juice?

I believe that Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness is the answer to these frustrations that RA patients experience. It is the answer to the bad press. It is also the answer to the devastating facts of the Rheumatoid Arthritis statistics. I believe it is the answer and I believe that it is time for it.

But what is it?

What will Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness look like?

This is a discussion we’ve been having here on the blog. I hope you’ll take time to look at the two posts in the past week concerning RA Awareness: Would RA Awareness Make a Difference? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Is It Time for Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness? The links to the comments are at the bottom of each post. The comments in this past week have been incredible. Much of those discussions have taken place on those last two posts.

Some new things people are doing for Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness right now:

  • Please take part in this conversation if you think it’s important. You can post your opinions in those 2 discussions and also share your ideas here in answer to the questions below.
  • Post the RA Info Button on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook page to factually inform about what RA really is. This is especially good if the site is not already about RA.
  • One reader is writing emails to Yoplait yogurt asking them to use blue lids for an RA awareness campaign.
  • Another reader is writing letters to the Dr. Oz show asking them to do a show on RA, interviewing patients.
  • Talking about RA on blogs or pages that are not already about RA – here’s one reader’s post. What a great idea.
  • Watch and “LIKE” my Woman’s Day video right on YouTube so that it becomes more popular & is viewed by more people who don’t have RA.
  • Write to Woman’s Day about doing an accurate piece on RA.
  • Wear an RA awareness t-shirt.
  • Stay tuned for MUCH more from me and fellow readers. It might be true that what each of us can do is limited, but together, it’s a different story. That is definitely where we are headed.

Please comment below regarding:

1. Share your own reason that we need Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness.

2. Share your idea of how we can accomplish RA Awareness.

Recommended reading:

NOTE: Your comments are an important resource for future readers of this post in the months to come. Please find the comment link below each post.

Click here to read all the comments or add yours!

Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 10:40 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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