Why Am I Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior?


Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior IconHistory of Rheumatoid Arthritis “Warrior”?

My name (Kelly) rhymes with lots of things. None of them pretty. Enjoy imagining… I am not putting it here. I hated that name as a kid.

When I got older, those bookmarks with names became popular. Everyone was glad to see his name in print with the etymology of the name proudly displayed. Not me.

My name has a meaning that was not so cool or cute to a girl. The derivation is an Old Irish (Celtic) word “ceallach” meaning “war.” So, literally, it is “warrior.” Why would we call a girl that?

Accordingly, most of the little wall signs and bookmarks put a genteel spin on it. I had ones that said “bold,” “sustainer of virtue,” and “warrioress.” I had various versions from well-meaning friends.

I tried to like it. But it was a far cry from the connotation of my friends’ names – “beautiful,” or “graceful,” “soft,” and “kind.”

The right name after all

The day that I decided that my undertaking on the net would be called Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, I realized the “co-incidence” in the name “warrior.” I knew I was doing the right thing. I knew it was my role to fight.

Today, I am proud of my name. I don’t think I would change it if I could. “Soft” does not fulfill the qualifications for certain jobs.

If you enjoyed the name history of RA Warrior, maybe you’ll want to look up your own using the same sites.

According to other baby name sites, names can have multiple origins which create various meanings. Amusingly, a list of origins usually follows. Every Kelly entry I read was “warrior.”

More name meanings:

Read more Warrior:

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/

13 thoughts on “Why Am I Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior?

  • September 15, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    My name means “guardian of the sea”. So you’re a warrior and I’m the guard!!

  • September 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    That is cool that your name means warrior, and then later you start RA Warrior. It really does fit you.

    By the way, my name means “power of the tribe”. HAHA Right.

  • September 18, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Great Blog…Im a young woman with RA and I was wondering (if this is not too personal) how pregnancy/birth/motherhood is on one’s body?


  • September 18, 2009 at 10:32 am

    No, not too personal! An important question!
    I need to just write a post on this since I have answered it so many times…
    Very briefly, RA usually remits during pregnancy, but can rebound and be worse after delivery. You would also have to plan on changing / discontinuing meds. And, any damaged organs (kidney, liver) should be considered, since that increases risk to the mom.
    If you’d like to talk more, email me Kelly at rawarrior dot com.
    Good luck.

  • September 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    It’s the “warrior” that made me click on your blog! It has so many positive connotations for me… I think power is manifested in each of us in different ways, and it’s great to have such a tangible reminder of your own strength. 🙂

  • September 24, 2009 at 8:56 am

    As someone with RA for the past 20 years I can relate to the pain, swelling, the drugs that may or may not work, arthritis warrior, I’ve been warring with this horrid disease and at times I win some lose some. I found a gel that works like a charm for during the times I don’t want to take naprosyn it lasts a few hours but prolongs the tie in between needing to take a pill.

  • February 19, 2012 at 12:36 am

    I Timothy 6:12 (KJV), Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
    TY Kelly, I follow your blog, because I work in Mexico for patients with Rheumatoid diseases, and what I read here is basic to get involved in patient care, God Bless you.

  • Pingback: RA Warrior, Patient Activist Kelly Young speaks out | The Brave Discussion

  • February 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I have searched for years on the web, never really finding a realistic, informational site. When is saw the name “RA Warrior” I selected it because of the “warrior” connection. I laughed when I saw the site is run by a Kelly; I knew the connection immediately. Furthermore, my maiden name was German for “war”. My maiden name meant “Warrior Warrior”!
    So here I am, also waging war against RA. Thank you, so much for providing a site that is educated, realistic, and encouraging. I appreciate the sacrifices you make to be a source of strength for us.
    Kelly B.

    • February 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Love it! Thanks for letting me know you’re there. Fight on, Kelly.


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