Friday, October 12, 2012

World Arthritis Day!! 2012

Well, today is World Arthritis Day!  In the past I would see such days as World AIDS Day or Diabetes Awareness Day.  There would always be some ribbon associated with it.  You know the ribbon that is a different color depending on what the illness is. Well, for the first time ever I get it!  I really get it.  It doesn't matter what the color is but what it represents.  The fact that we all put on a certain color doesn't's the fact that we had to consciously think about Arthritis while we were putting it on.

If you read other blogs like mine you have read others complain about how Arthritis kinda gets the shaft.  It's not that we don't feel like Breast Cancer Awareness, Cystic Fibrosis or AIDS is is but we would like to be heard too.  In a weird way, arthritis isn't as popular as other diseases out there. Lets face it....when have you ever seen a well known super star on a talk show in tears talking about their loved one with arthritis.  Or watched a three minute commercial that brought you to tears because it reminded you of an important woman in your life that you have lost.  Plain and simple people just don't talk about arthritis.  Why?

Arthritis affects millions of people in the world.  If affects more children than many other diseases combined. Many arthritis patients have to take chemotherapy to treat their symptoms.....Alex does. Others have to go to Cancer and Dialysis Centers or hospitals to get infusions that take up to 8 hours to be pumped through an IV and into their bodies. Alex is only a couple steps away from this if her body doesn't go into remission soon!   Just like Cancer, Arthritis can spread into other areas of the body if not treated correctly or quickly enough.  And, just like Cancer there is a chance it could go into remission.  But, did you know that it can also be life threatening....just like Cancer? Yet people still associate arthritis as something their grandma has.  It is much much more than that friends!!

The goal of myself, my family and pretty much every parent of Juvenile Arthritis and of course the Arthritis sufferers themselves is AWARENESS!!!  I want there to be a 6 hour concert/telethon on tv with all the hottest celebrities out there.  I want to open a magazine and see a BLUE ribbon and a pair of hands that talks about how important funding and research are. I wan't to see pictures of beautiful children with a simple line that says "Kids Get Arthritis Too" underneath.   I want fundraising walks and runs that draw thousands and make millions!

So today on World Arthritis Day I did all I could.  My family and I wore our blue, we made cookies with blue frosting to hand out to friends, I wrote about Arthritis multiple times on my facebook account, my twitter and even Instagram.  I have done all I can for today but I am not finished. With the help from all of us we can bring a bigger awareness to arthritis.  Lets make it just as well known as any other terrible disease out there so that we can get help!  We need help by more research, more medicines, more doctors and bottom line more money!  Will you help me do this?  Together we can!!

Finally, I leave you with pictures of family and friends we love!  They chose to wear blue today for Alex but also for all of you who suffer out there.
Photo: Blue
My brother Mike
Photo: Pattie, Wearing Blue to celebrate World Arthritis Day. I like your post On Arthritis facts that says there are currently 171 different kinds of arthritis including rheumatoid, psoriatic, lupus, gout and fibromyalgia.
Michael and Matthew Lim
My sons best friends
Photo: Wearing blue!!
My cousin Sue
Photo: Hanging out in hotel, doing what teenage boys do. EAT!  But hey, he's doing it in blue.
Chris Cloud
A JA friend of ours
Photo: Wearing blue jeans and shirt for World arthritis awareness day.
My husband Ben who sent this from Georgia
while on his business trip......after hours!
Photo: Wearing blue!!!
My cousin Tricia and Aunt Anne all the way from 
My cousin Lynne also from Tennessee!! 
Alex's hand....swollen but proud to support! 
Alex brought cookies and coffee cake to school and 
received about $6.00 in donations!

I also had notes from friends on my facebook that did not post a picture but did wear blue.....
Ceci Mason, Heather Craig, Sara Cloud, Jody Mitchell, Michelle Nagelvoort and my mom Sue Barnes! Let me know if I've forgotten anyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Getting Committed

No, I don't mean getting committed to the hospital.  I mean getting asked to join the San Diego Arthritis Foundation Committee.  What does that mean?  Well, to be honest I am not sure.  What I do know is that this "committee" meets once a month and talks about upcoming AF events.  I'm sure there's a lot of planning going on too.  
So, to be completely honest when they asked me I recoiled just a bit.  "What? You want me?  To do what exactly?  Will I have the time?".  All these questions went on in my head but then I thought about it.  There have been so many signs and pushes into this direction.  I truly believe everything happens for a reason. It started quite a while ago when the online AF approached me about writing a blog for their site....which I never did.  Then my doctor mentioned that I should attend different AF events here and there and never went.  Then Alex gets picked by the AF to be their honoree.  Then I get the email asking me to make this commitment.  What if GOD....yes GOD is trying to tell me something....lead me somewhere.  So...I said YES!!!  I will join the committee...ha ha!!  

The way I look at it, being a volunteer benefits them and myself and our family.   When your child suffers from something you feel very alone.  Even though my previous post was all about my support system you still feel like no one truly understands......unless they are going through the same thing.  I need my old friends to keep my life as normal as possible but I also need new ones to make me feel whole.  Over the weekend I had the chance to go to an Arthritis Foundation event.  A symposium focused on Juvenile Arthritis.  There were about 20 families there.  It was so nice to be in a place where I could walk up to just about any of them and talk about our journey and know that they truly understand.  It was so comforting.  

Being part of this committee will enable me to not only raise awareness but hopefully gain some new life long friendships.  Hopefully I can help the foundation with my desire and drive to get the community together and support each other.     So yes please....commit me!!!