Stand Together | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Stand Together

How do we stand together?

The next installment of the same hearing about Roo’s health and well-being is Friday. I’m not able to share details, but the decisions before the court are crucial for my son. As I write this update to you, it feels like the Friday the 13th movie series. Is there really one more? Weren’t the past ones bad enough to last?

More than enough, definitely.

Stand together practically

Stand TogetherTrue, I teach Roo homeschool, wash his clothes, fix healthy meals, and manage his health problems and the effects of everything we’ve been through. I keep him involved with friends, youth group, and extracurricular activities. And I do all of the other things a disabled single parent has to do. At the same time, it has also been like a part-time job to respond to this stressful legal case for the last two and a half years.

Mostly, I face all of this alone, day to day. But that’s just how it feels. Others actually stand together with me.

A recent experience inspired me.

On a Sunday morning, I stood at the communion rail between my pastor’s wife and my dear sweet eleven-year old friend, her granddaughter. Of course, most people kneel, but I can’t kneel; and that’s fine. Suddenly someone appeared next to me. It was my pastor standing between his kneeling wife and me. It seemed normal enough.

And stand together in spirit

A couple of days later, I learned the extraordinary backstory.

When I had been standing at the rail, the pastor said he felt God telling him, “Go stand with Kelly.” So he got up and stood. Later on, his wife reminded him about our hearing for Roo. My pastor told us, “Then I knew what God meant – that I should go with you and stand with you, Kelly.”

He does come with us to every court hearing.

We stand together

In fighting rheumatoid disease, it’s too much to stand alone. We need to stand together for support and advice, and so we don’t feel crazy. It helps us live with increasing disability and pain, and the misjudgment that comes from a lack of awareness about RD.In fighting rheumatoid disease, it’s too much to stand alone. We need to stand together Click To Tweet

In the legal case, we have made it this far because of friends and family that have stood with us, helping pay legal costs, keeping Roo happy during many long hearing days, and sustaining us with prayers and encouragement.

I hate being in this position, but I believe I’ve only done what I have had to do for my son. If you are able to help with legal costs, please make a donation to my Uncle Sam’s Go Fund Me page. If you pray, please pray for us. Please also share the donation link with friends on social media or through your email.

No one wants this to be over more than I do. There are so many other ways I want to spend my time and energy to stand together with you.

Note on the Go Fund Me page to stand together for this case

Every penny has been spent directly to pay legal costs for this case. There are outstanding debts for the case at this time, so please donate whenever you are able and please keep sharing the Go Fund Me link:

Thank you to the many, many of you who have already helped.

Recommended reading

Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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5 thoughts on “Stand Together

  • October 30, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Iwant to thank you for all your work. I am struggling with this now into my second year of RD. I did not have good results from Humira and enbrel is not much better. Waiting to see what’s next.
    Thank you for your encouragement

  • November 3, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    It’s so good to hear from you Kelly! I read your years and years worth of blogs all the time. I am relatively new to the site and so very thankful.
    I pray for your success and continued endurance with your personal struggles. I marvel at your strength I really do. Sending hugs and positive vibes.

  • November 8, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Dearest Kelly,
    I stand with You! More importantly, I pray with a thankful heart for You. God has a plan, in that we put our trust!
    God Bless You and Roo !

  • November 13, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Hi Kelly –
    You are ever in our prayers, as you know. What you may not know, is that your name and your needs are brought up frequently at our monthly RA Support Group meetings. There are SO many people who love you and care about you, and want nothing but good for you and Roo. So, please, be assured of our love and care. The Ol’ Curmudgeon has many grumblings about your situation, and how it parallels mine of 40 years ago. He is confident that no matter the dollars, and despite your RD, that things WILL turn out well in the end. It took us years to work it all out, but with the support of our friends and Himself’s family, we managed.

    Shift of topic. I just encountered another of those “chirpy” articles about RA that has me fuming. It was fine until the last paragraphs when it went “chirpy,” and said, “But like all RA patients, in time you would learn to adjust. Having Rheumatoid Arthritis is not the end of the world it’s just another way of living in it.” I felt like screaming, but Himself would have dropped the eggs! Here’s the link:

    Love as always!

  • November 17, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    Just wanted to check in and say hello and let you know I am thinking about you and your family.


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