Technical Issues

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My home Internet service went down earlier today. A technician came out in the afternoon and was unable to fix the problem; hopefully it will be fixed sometime tomorrow. I´m keeping my arthritic fingers crossed! I hope to be back online soon. (In case you are wondering, I am typing this from an Internet Cafe, right before I head over to my evening class.)

Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation

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The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation (the “Foundation”) was founded in September 2009 by Jeffrey Gottfurcht. Eight years ago at the age of 27, Jeffrey was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He had periodically experienced swollen fingers and wrists and  had stiff joints throughout his late teens  and early 20’s but thought these were  merely an allergic reactions. Finally, a Rheumatoid Arthritis specialist at Stanford  confirmed the diagnosis. In 2009, Jeffrey’s symptoms significantly advanced and he learned that he would be functionally immobile within a few years. An avid mountain climber, Jeffrey decided he could not  just give in and with a can-do attitude  committed to training for and climbing  Mount Everest in 2010, thereby fulfilling his number 1 dream. Jeffrey wanted to share his determination to fight Rheumatoid Arthritis and bring joy, strength and support to others afflicted with this lifelong disease. Jeffrey chose to focus on fulfilling the dreams of children suffering from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis because as a father of 3, he understands the importance  of creating positive memories in a child’s life. The Foundation hopes to inspire, educate and generate awareness while those suffering with this lifelong disease optimistically await a cure.

Granting Wishes
The Foundation’s mandate is to fulfill the dreams of children afflicted with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Referrals for dreams will come from parents, guardians,  members of the medical community, support-related  websites and children suffering from Juvenile Rheumatoid  Arthritis. The Foundation’s Dream Team will select the dreams that are prudent and possible to make a reality. The Foundation’s president will visit the child and present the dream come true. Wishes should fall under the following categories: 1) “I wish I could go…”, 2) “I wish I could meet…”, 3) “I wish to be…”, and 4) “I wish to have…”.

More Info:

Pens And Needles: Singing Beyond Our Bodies

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Pens and Needles“I love to sing because it is such a physical act; but I also love to sing because the music I produce is incorporeal. It thrusts out and away from these sore, stiff bones, this heart that doesn’t know quite what to do with itself. Singing with others reminds me that we are all so much more than our bodies. We are so much more than the things that hurt us.

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Be sure this read this absolutely beautiful post – it’s a great start to the Christmas season!

Cooking With Arthritis

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A cook with arthritis adapts to kitchen, writes a book

Melinda Winner was in her 20s when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Born with the use of one arm, and now battling pain, Winner sank into depression. She gained 100 pounds and thought her dreams of being a chef were fading.

Winner, now 48, took control and lost the extra weight through walking and smarter eating. Through a series of adaptations, she rediscovered her love of cooking and regained her independence. She has written a book to help others do the same: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking With Arthritis.

Winner has appeared on the Food Network and local newscasts. She conducts cooking seminars, where she demonstrates how to use everyday objects to overcome different physical limitations. She says her successes stem from sheer determination.

“I’m not one of these people that give up,” she said. “I’m a true survivor.”

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Illustrated Guide to Cooking with ArthritisA Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking with Arthritis
by Melinda Winner

Are you one of the millions of people that suffer from arthritis, a chronic disease, or a physical injury? Is cooking your passion or, at the very least, a necessity? Come along on a culinary journey around the world with Melinda Winner in her second cookbook, A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking with Arthritis, which will bring the millions of physically challenged individuals back into the kitchen pain free and fearless. As a physically challenged individual herself, Melinda shares techniques for creating mouthwatering recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts, as well as delicious rubs, sauces, and jellies. An Illustrated Guide to Cooking with Arthritis is packed full of delectable, original recipes sure to delight any palate and is a must-have for any cookbook collection. Each easy-to-read recipe is written for use by anyone, physically challenged or not, and includes an informative section of kitchen terms, culinary resources, and basic tips to help make everyday life simpler.

Arthritis RadioArthritis Radio Episode 1: Cooking With Arthritis

Our first guest, Melinda Winner, is a woman on a mission – which is – to make the world aware of a debilitating disease that steals the lives of men, women and children every day in this country.  She will soon be setting off on a life changing adventure across the United States. Melinda will start here in Pittsburgh, PA and head north, then south, east and west, visiting every state in the union.  She has vowed not to stop until America becomes aware of the severity of auto immune system diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Melinda wants to help all 46 million+ sufferers of these diseases.

Melinda is also a noted cook. Her talents have taken her all the way to the Food network.  She competed on the Ultimate Recipe Showdown in 2008.  She has also authored two books:  The first, Yankee Cooking with Southern Charm was released in 2008.  The Second: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking with Arthritis has just been released.  This book is the first of its kind.  This book was designed to help the physically challenged regain their independence in the kitchen.

Updated: Melinda Winner also guest blogs at AFWPA Rheum For Wellness:

RA|QA Rheumatoid Arthritis Questions & Answers

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QuestionEleanor asks:

Was looking for some advice from fellow sufferers – I have just had my medication changed fom Leflunomide as it was affecting my liver too much. I have now been prescribed sulfasalazine – just wondering what other people have thought of it and how its affected them. Thank you!!