“I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2008 and started this portrait project of people who have RA and other autoimmune diseases as a way to cope with my illness and spread awareness about invisible illnesses. My hope for this project is to show the world that there are a lot of younger people out there who are dealing with complicated and often painful chronic illnesses. Also, I think it is so important for the newly diagnosed to be able to see all of these beautiful, happy faces and know that they are not alone.”
(August 13, 2013) – Show Us Your Hands! is pleased to provide an update of the organization’s activities in 2013. Launched less than two years ago as a community collage project, our grassroots organization continues to grow thanks to the continued support from members of the inflammatory arthritis community.
We are happy to share that we have obtained official US nonprofit charity status. State of Illinois charity registration is in progress.
Show Us Your Hands! has also created an Advisory Council to provide ideas and feedback for awareness projects. The Advisory Council is composed of an international group of motivated and talented individuals: Andrea Sarullo (USA), Ferhaan Kajee (The Netherlands), Kimberly Cooper (USA), Nicole Dalton (USA) and Shelley Cook (USA).
All Show Us Your Hands! Directors and Advisory Council members live with inflammatory arthritis. This has presented our organization with the unique opportunity of creating organizational structures that support and accommodate the realities of life with inflammatory arthritis. To enable full participation without burnout, we have built a solid team with a “buddy system” as backup for all tasks, and include balancing work and inflammatory arthritis in all projects and deadlines.
The primary Show Us Your Hands! project for 2013 is to offer Community Collage posters and the Our Hands Can! photo book at more affordable prices. The proceeds from several fundraisers planned for the next few months will provide the funding necessary to lower the cost of the posters and photo books.
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.
“Since my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I have definitely discovered many paths to wellness, but something is still missing. My body still has lot of room to heal, but I need to keep searching for the path that is perfect for my individual body. The one thing I have accepted while chasing each of these different paths is that what I am looking for may not come easily or with a lot of guidance. There will be many dead ends. That is why it is so important to continue to be patient, open minded, and most of all continue to nourish myself both physically and mentally. With time, the path that is perfect for my body will be discovered. For now, I will continue to enjoy the calm that comes with the familiar. ”
Funny How It Hurts! A humorous guide to living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
by Donna Barton
Funny How It Hurts is a humorous collection of poems to create awareness for Rheumatoid Arthritis. With powerful and inspiring words, humor and whimsical drawings, this book resonates with anyone who deals with chronic pain. The author’s humorous renditions of day to day living with RA are an inspiration to all ages.
Rheumatoid arthritis also known as RA affects every individual differently. When living with RA a person should try to remain physically active. These are some exercise options for whatever level of RA you might be experiencing.
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