(May 7, 2012) – Show Us Your Hands! is pleased to announce the release of its Our Hands Can! photo book, the latest in a series of successful initiatives aimed at uniting the community of individuals who are living with inflammatory arthritis and increasing the public’s awareness of this group of autoimmune diseases. This photo book contains the inspiring photographs and moving stories of dozens of people of all ages from around the world who live with different types of inflammatory arthritis and is being released today in celebration of Arthritis Awareness Month.
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month in the United States. Its goal is to bring attention to the issues and realities faced by people who live with one of the more than 100 different types of arthritis. More than 46 million people live with arthritis in the US, including 300,000 children. It is the most common cause of disability.
The Our Hands Can! photo book is available for purchase at Blurb in both hardcover format and softcover format. “Being part of this has made me feel proud of who I am with rheumatoid arthritis and all for the first time in a long time,” says Samantha Legere, who is profiled in the photo book. Founding director Lene Andersen adds, “Our Hands Can! is a tangible affirmation that all of us who live with inflammatory arthritis find a way to live meaningful, productive and joyful lives. Our hands may hurt and bear the visible signs of our disease, but it doesn’t stop us!” All funds raised from the sale of these photo books go to Show Us Your Hands!, an international awareness movement which serves to unite and inspire the inflammatory arthritis community.
The Show Us Your Hands! inflammatory arthritis community collage project debuted in December 2011. People of all ages from around the world are represented in this community project and new photos continue to be added to on a regular basis. The community collage project serves not only as a symbol of the wonderfully supportive inflammatory arthritis community that continues to grow and connect online, but also acts as a reminder that people who live with these diseases should be proud of, and not ashamed of, their inflammatory arthritis hands. By April 2011, the Show Us Your Hands! inflammatory arthritis community collage project had grown to include more than 1,000 hands.
Autoimmune diseases occur when a body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In the case of inflammatory arthritis, a person’s joints are frequently attacked, resulting in chronic pain and debilitating inflammation. The most common inflammatory arthritis diseases are Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Psoriatic Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Still’s Disease and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Show Us Your Hands! is an international awareness movement which serves to unite and inspire the inflammatory arthritis community. For more information, please visit www.showusyourhands.org. Show Us Your Hands! can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.