We are lucky to have Deb as part of our Arthritis Support Network in Wisconsin. Deb is nothing short of amazing. Deb was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 13 and wants folks to know that family, with her, comes first. She is incredibly active with her sons school, loves to scrapbook, bake and cook. It's important to note that there is really nothing that Deb does not have a hand-in when it comes to being the best possible advocate for our tribe. She really believes that having a support network around you makes all the difference in your healing journey. She also really wants to impress upon folks that asking for help is a strength and not a weakness and a necessary part of healthy living. Also, if you are not happy with your doctor, find one that will really talk to you but more importantly, listen to you. As a patient, you have options and you should always be your own best advocate. There is a doctor out there for everyone! Deb is a dietician by trade and a true mid-western woman; she grew-up and went to school in Illinois but now lives in Wisconsin.
When I tell you everything that Deb does to represent us, you won't think it's possible for one woman to do it all and yet, she does! Deb is an Arthritis Foundation ambassador and thinks that regardless of who your elected official is, it's always good to get in their ear in regards to healthcare reform. Deb serves on the local Leadership Board as the Board Chair and recently became the Advocacy Chair. She is a dedicated Arthritis Support Network Leader. Deb a true Champion of Yes and is the most approachable, loving, kind and empathetic woman.
When Deb jumped into Advocacy at the beginning of 2015....Wow. There was no stopping her. Deb did every assignment and then some. She was even nominated for the Edward M. Kennedy award for her work in advocacy. She did not win this award but was definitely awarded for her efforts by being chosen as one of the Platinum Ambassadors.Deb was awarded a scholarship from the Arthritis Foundation that covered her travel and hotel expenses. Deb was so proud to be representing the Arthritis Foundation in such a significant way that she also brought her then 16-year-old son and her husband to DC with her. If you haven't had the pleasure of speaking with Deb, I would HIGHLY encourage you to introduce yourself. If you are a patient, a warrior, and a person wanting to educate yourself on what is being done out there in terms of research, Deb can lead you in the right direction. What an honor it was to talk to her and pleasure to spotlight Deb for this issue of the Thrive Newsletter!
The Summit was amazing... to go collectively as a large group to Capitol Hill and to have our ‘asks’ practiced and ready to go. It was empowering, educational and life changing!“~Deb Constein
Nomi is an Arthritis Support Network Leader and the Program Coordinator for Girls on the Run of Central Maryland. She has a BA in English from Bradley University and a certificate in Clinical Mental Healthcare from UMUC. Nomi will be doing blogs for AI relating her own personal journey as an RA warrior in the hopes that you find yourself saying; "me, too".