Ask any rheumatologist about the state of RA as a disease and you’re likely to get the same answer: There’s reason for great optimism and there’s a lot of work to be done.
Major funding is critical for accelerating research on finding a cure and improving treatments; now is the time to help raise those funds.
“Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis,” a multi-year, $30-million campaign launched by the ACR REF, offers a variety of opportunities to get involved. ACR members in particular are encouraged to get involved through the Leadership Council Program, a core group of volunteer ambassadors and diplomats nationwide. These volunteers form a network of enthusiasm and support while raising funds by connecting a distinct group of individuals with the “Within Our Reach” campaign to realize the vision of curing RA. Current industry friends and new partners (including patients and their families) have already begun to contribute funds, share information, and build awareness.
Sandra Williams was diagnosed with RA at age 38. “I thought, that’s not right, I’m still young,” Williams recalls. Her rheumatologist explained that RA is not just an older person’s disease, as is widely believed. Learning that even children suffer from this debilitating disease profoundly affected Williams. Although for years she managed her pain with strong painkillers, nothing was working to control Williams’ disease. In 1998, she began treatment with a new therapy; the results were immediate and dramatic. “It reversed the progression of the disease and I was able to live a normal life again,” she says.