New York City
Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 24
How has your condition impacted you? Honestly, I feel that RA hasn't impacted me as much as you may think. I am still able to do the majority of the things I love. When I was first diagnosed, learning that I couldn't go out drinking with my friends was quite disturbing. At 24, that was what we did on weekends! I've since adjusted my social life and am very happy.
What would you like other people to know about Rheumatoid Arthritis? Most people associate Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with osteoarthritis, stating that, "Oh, my Grandma has that!" when you mention you have RA. I'd like for there to be greater awareness of who is affected by RA and how it differs from other forms of arthritis.
What would you want to tell someone who is recently diagnosed with RA? I'd like to tell them not to read the information they find online. But, I know that they will. So, if you have to look online for info, also look for unique voices and bloggers talking about life with RA. I've found a great group of young women in NYC all living with RA who have not let the disease change their lives. Also, remember that the medical treatments have changed greatly in recent years, so you won't necessarily end up as an old lady with crippled fingers!
A special thanks to Katherine for enduring the freezing cold weather last winter for this photo shoot and for patiently waiting for the July/August issue of Arthritis Today magazine to come out before seeing her portrait on this site. Thanks Kat!!