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Arthritis Support Network launched: 2017
Arthritis Support Network Leader: Lauren Type of Arthritis: Spondyloarthropathy
About this Arthritis Support Network:
My vision for this Arthritis Support Network is to provide a place where people feel completely comfortable and can be themselves. A space where people who live very similar lives can congregate and provide genuine empathy for others in similar situations. Also, I will work to ensure that every participant is provided with the dignity, respect, and understanding that they deserve. Further, every group member will receive encouragement, empowerment, and warmth within this judgment free zone as they navigate through their journey with Arthritis.
Hi everyone! My name is Lauren. I am a 30 something year old woman who has been living with a Seronegative Spondyloarthropathy since the age of 15. Unfortunately, it took me 16 years to receive a correct diagnosis despite seeing endless specialists. This led me to experience a lot of pain, frustration, worry and loneliness. Yet by no longer having a mystery illness, this has had a big impact in my life. The most powerful impact is the actual diagnosis and the appropriate medications that can improve my condition. It also ended the endless search for an answer to what my pain was, which had consumed 16 years of my life. By having an invisible illness I feel that I have experienced things that most people I know have not. However, I am sure that many of you know exactly what I am talking about. I know what it is like to have the most basic things taken away from you, such as being able to sit, stand, or being able to walk from an illness that people can't even understand by looking at you. This sparked my passion to become involved within the Arthritis Foundation and to help others who have Arthritis.
I decided that I wanted to create an Arthritis Support Network in Monmouth NJ area, because I know how difficult living with arthritis can be and how crucial support is to a person. From the age of 15 on, I have had many friends who didn't understand the invisibility nature of this disease and no longer wanted to be part my life. I also have had family members that did not understand my pain. This lead me to experience isolation and loneliness. When you combine that with the limitations that Arthritis can present, many of us can face depression and anxiety. However, when someone feels they have support, it can have a positive effect on their emotional and physical health. When I saw that the Arthritis Foundation did not yet have a support group in New Jersey; I knew I had to be the person to form a group. I felt like after everything I had experienced, to be able to help someone else with Arthritis would be very special to me. I am happy to be in the position that brings people together, so that we can help one another cope with Arthritis in a healthy way. I want to bring positive energy and warmth, so that people don't have to feel so alone in this journey. My hope is that this group fosters individual growth, friendships, and connection. Also, and very importantly a sense of peace that many of us with Arthritis are unable to attain.
I look forward to beginning this journey with each and every one of you. Please note that although this group's meetings will be held in Monmouth county, it is open to all NJ residents (adults) and/or their loved ones living with Arthritis. I am excited for us to share in being a part of the first Arthritis Support Network in New Jersey!
To join this Arthritis Support Network, please click the “Subscribe to Group” link above.
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All subscribers to this group agree to adhere to the Support Group Participant Guidelines.