For our 5th Annual Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month (RDAM) we saw people from all walks of life telling their stories and amplifying the voices and experiences of people living with rheumatic disease to facilitate better public understanding of what it’s like to live with one of these diseases.
Here are just some of the stories we saw this month, and if you feel inspired, please be sure to tell your own!
I found out I had Sjogren’s syndrome last November after I woke up with an eye stroke. I am getting better, but still feel sad sometimes. My biggest issue with the disease is exhaustion and burning eyes, and the fact that I lost a bit of my sight.
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis during medical school. It is because of my experience with my own disease that I decided to become a pediatric rheumatologist.
I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 12. Back then, they really didn’t know what lupus was or how to explain it. During the early years, there were many medication mishaps. Finally, we set a regimen that worked for me and the doctors, but it took a long time and my body suffered in the process as I lost my hair and developed a rash across my body. In college, I started the Lupus Connection to help people living with lupus come together and educate, advocate and share experiences. I will always continue the fight to educate, advocate and organize for people living with lupus!
Inspired by these stories? We want to hear from you! Please take a moment to tell us your story to help raise broader awareness of rheumatic diseases.