Arthritis Support Network launched: 2007
Arthritis Support Network Leader: Susan Type of Arthritis: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis Support Network Leader: Kevin Type of Arthritis: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
About this Arthritis Support Network:
Together we are empowering people to not just survive with arthritis but to thrive!
I am very happy to be the co-leader for the Tucson Arthritis Support Network. I have lived with idiopathic rheumatoid arthritis for over 47 years and have had a few joint replacement surgeries. I believe in the mission of the Arthritis Foundation and look forward to making a difference in this community. I have been married for over 20+ years to my husband John, whom I met in an arthritis support group. So, I know personally what good things can come from seeking support and friendship!
I earned a Master’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Arizona in 1989. GO WILDCATS! I started working as a counselor for the D.E.S. Vocational Rehabilitation program and assisted people with disabilities in accomplishing their educational and career goals. In 2000, I started my "dream job" as a Disabled Student Resources Specialist for Pima Community College. At Desert Vista Campus and Downtown Campus, I assisted students with disabilities by providing appropriate academic accommodations in the classroom. These support services included note taking supports, padded chairs in the classroom, and extended test time to name just a few. I have taught student success college classes and facilitated self-advocacy workshops. Dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding disabilities has been a long term passion. I try to maintain an "attitude of gratitude", which tends to focus and ground me.
Due to the severity and progression of my arthritis, I chose to "medically retire" from PCC May, 2011. I have dedicated much of my time since then to assisting the Arthritis Introspective organization in any way possible. I also enjoy traveling, swimming, attending chair exercise classes, and playing the piano. I am pleased to enter this new chapter of my life and I am enjoying the journey.
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of ten. Over the last 30 years I learned early that the memories of the physical pains of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis fade, but the emotional pains are not as easily forgotten. I often felt like an outcast struggling with self-esteem and body image issues, it was not until I met another person my age with a similar diagnosis at a support group in Boston when I felt “normal”.
Since that first meeting in Boston I have believed in the power of face to face support and being able to be part of that here in Southern Arizona has been fantastic!
To join this Arthritis Support Network, please click the "Join this Group” button above and we will send you updates about upcoming events via email.
Planned activities include guest speakers, community events, and social gatherings!
All subscribers to this group agree to adhere to the Support Group Participant Guidelines.