The ACR REF established the Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) campaign in 2006 with one goal in mind: to find a cure for RA.
Within Our Reach is a bold and challenging campaign with the potential to affect medical breakthroughs and improve patient quality of life. A campaign of this magnitude requires an active and strong volunteer leadership to help advance the program to new levels, and that is where the Within Our Reach Leadership Council steps in.
The Within Our Reach Leadership Council is a core group of volunteers nationwide—consisting primarily of practicing rheumatologists—who help foster support for the campaign in the lay community.
I am so lucky that the drugs available today allow RA patients such as myself to live such normal lives. Thank you again for your dedication to your profession, and all that you are doing to advance the understanding of rheumatoid arthritis.
–Carey Stauder, 19, in a letter to the Within Our Reach volunteer leadership
“I’ve been practicing since 1981, having been involved in all angles and aspects in looking after patients with RA in particular, says Norman Gaylis, MD, a member of the volunteer leadership. “To be involved in the development of new treatments seems part and parcel of being a rheumatologist. Volunteering as an ambassador and trying to make society—both physicians and lay people—aware of the need to develop research for the treatment and cure of RA is an extension of what I do every day of my life. It is a privilege and an honor to be capable of providing a service to something that can provide so much help … to everybody across the board.”
John R.P. Tesser, MD, is another volunteer working with the campaign. “When I was asked to do this, I stumbled over it for a few moments, then I thought this was an interesting idea. Other nonprofit lay organizations don’t really know what our science is [about], and the money that is donated to it falls into a hole, and no one knows how it is being allocated.” Then Dr. Tesser found out that no other professional medical organization was involving its membership, and that 100 percent of the funds raised in this campaign go directly to research. It was then that he decided that the campaign was “more genuine,” he says.
“I’m passionate about RA,” he says. “I had to do what I could to help the campaign along.”