Update from Chicago! | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Update from Chicago!

It’s our last day in Chicago!  Katie Beth and I are going to be tourists for a half-day and then pack for an early flight. All day tomorrow we’ll be in transit. Here’s a quick update until I’m able to write more.

busy RPF exhibit at ACR 2011The last couple of months have been spent in almost constant preparation for the 2011 ACR Scientific Meeting in Chicago this week. During that time, I traveled to Philadelphia to speak at e-Patient Connections and spent a week in Rochester, Minnesota due to my work with the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. However, during that time, we also created materials and organized volunteers for the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation’s (RPF) exhibit at the ACR meeting. Then, Katie Beth and I spent 12 hours traveling last Friday. Then came the meeting week itself… that brings us to today.

Over the next few weeks, there are two storylines that I will report to you about this week:

  1. The scientific events of the meeting.
  2. The incredible response to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation exhibit.

Even beyond those, I hope to share over the next few weeks, some of our experiences and impressions from this week. It’s difficult to describe how it is to be

  • Surrounded by bright volunteers who share our mission.
  • Working with friends who we love like family, but usually only talk to online & on the phone.
  • Having discussions over donuts with doctors about participatory medicine!

RPF exhibit at ACR 2011

Set-up day for RPF at ACR 2011 exhibit

Happy moments at RPF exhibit at ACR 2011

I DID NOT FORGET about Social Media and emails! I’m very behind on replying to email due to this fall’s heavy schedule. Every day, I do as much as I can. The stories and notes you send to me are a treasure to me personally and important input to this community. I read and respond, but sometimes it’s delayed. I also look forward to catching up with everyone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn! We weren’t missing as someone said to me!! We have been doing the work of RA Warrior and the RPF!!

There will also be posts by me and others on the RPF blog, so keep an eye on that as well.

Dana and Kelly at RPF exhibit at ACR 2011Bonus! Don’t miss Dana’s post about the RPF booth at ACR 2011 on her blog At The Water’s Edge.

Don’t miss these posts that go with this one!

More here: Rheumatoid Patient Foundation Needs Your Help

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:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

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4 thoughts on “Update from Chicago!

  • November 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Well done, Kelly. You accomplished all you set out to do this Fall. I’m extremely proud of you and your outstanding daughter and caretaker, KatieBeth.


    • November 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

      Thank you, Bob! You are probably the sole person who fully realized what this meant – how much we tried to do this fall, all the while with Katie Beth in college and my RA as bad as ever. Encouragement is a big help when it’s hard to keep going. Thank you for being there for us.

  • November 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Kelly, I still can’t put into words how incredible the experience was. Between the cool people and amazing information I think there was a sensory overload somewhere in there lol!!! I am sooooooooooo proud to be part of such a game-changing foundation as RPF. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. This is a new empowerment that is key to people taking control of their disease and not taking the ignorance any longer. Hugs for everything & I hope you get lots of R&R! <3

    • November 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      I’m so proud of our community & volunteers. You were such a special part of that, Becky!! I just found a great photo of our post-meeting meeting – KB may post it on the RPF site. Lots more photos to come…


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