IL - Chicago

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Live Yes! Connect launched: 2016

Live Yes! Connect Facilitator: Heidi                       Type of Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia

Live Yes! Connect Facilitator: Lynne                      Type of Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis

Live Yes! Connect Facilitator: Lisa                         Type of Arthritis: Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis

About this Live Yes Connect group:  

Our vision for this group is to provide an inviting environment for those whose daily lives are impacted by arthritis. We want to create a space where members can educate, uplift and have fun with each other.

About: Heidi

Hi! I'm Heidi and I was diagnosed with RA and Fibromyalgia in 2014.   Adjusting to life the first two years after receiving my diagnoses was very hard.  I encountered many learning curves during that time, including the addition of medications, treatments, doctor appointments, changes to my body and the devastating realization of certain activities I could no longer do.  During these hard times, I knew I needed support and unfortunately searched in vain for a support group to join. 

This all changed in 2016 when I joined the newly formed Chicagoland, IL Live Yes! Connect group.  It was very comforting knowing everyone in this group just "got" it; they truly understood and empathized with my unique experience of living with arthritis.  I was also exposed to the wide range of treatments and coping methods they utilized in their own lives living with arthritis. This group has been a bright light amongst this otherwise painful disease.

I am currently working as a hospital Outreach Coordinator for the Laboratory, a job I find to be very personally rewarding.  On a day-to-day basis, my job requires that I coordinate blood draws for health fairs, nursing homes, and non-ambulatory patients.  My job is very personally rewarding and is the reason why I continue to work. When I have some free time and if I am able, I enjoy gardening and cooking.

I am very much looking forward to being the Live Yes! Connect facilitator for the Chicagoland area.  As a member of Chicagoland myself, I can personally attest to the positive impact joining a support network has on someone’s quality of life.  I am eager to return the favor by providing the same support I had once received to others, as I believe nobody should have to deal with arthritis alone.  I continue to learn, educate, empower others and be empowered, all while having a few laughs in the meantime.

About: Lynne

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about a year-and-a-half ago I also have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. I try to let it not keep me down but it has give me a lot of physical limitations that I tried to push through and exercise and walk because we have to keep moving, that's one of the most important part is that we have to keep moving but I believe the most important part is to have people who have the same condition you have that can support you because they know what you're going through your family members can be sympathetic or empathetic but they do not know what you're going through they cannot feel it they don't experience the same things that you try to explain it's not something you can put into words it's only something that someone who has it can understand. So being with the group of people who are going through or have gone through the same medical conditions it really helps or I can say it's really helped me the emotional support is the most important part if you ask me..

I would like to see more people join the group because it is a very good supportive way of helping to deal with the conditions that we have.  I think we need to have more ways of getting the word out about the group or groups because I had to search quite a bit to find the group it shouldn't be so hard to find a supportive group like this, I think in the listing of the Arthritis Foundation the group should be easier to find.

About: Lisa

I was diagnosed with Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2016. It took 2 years to find which medications worked for me. As a busy wife and mother, I had to learn how to manage my life with my new friend Arthritis constantly with me. It has been an interesting journey and I am sure it will continue to be. I am learning more each day about myself, the disease and how I can continue to thrive and enjoy life. I treasure spending time with my large family and traveling with my husband. It is a thrill watching my children grow into adults. I spend my spare time listening to music, baking, taking photographs and learning yoga.

I have been attending the Chicagoland group off and on for the past year. I have found educational opportunities and so much support there. The current facilitators (Heidi Hedges and Candice Dussett) are very supportive to all group members and willing to share their personal experiences with Arthritis and related illness. The events I have attended have offered practical advice and help that I have implemented into my every day life. These have been extremely helpful in my journey with arthritis. I would like to help others receive the education & support they may need. Getting diagnosed & then trying to bring RA under control is a process. Working with a rheumatologist and medications is a big part of that. The support group made me realize I may need help from other providers (ie, physical therapist, a mental health professional, massage therapist, etc.) Others experiencing symptoms similar to mine have provided invaluable information on how to live with Arthritis and the many changes it brings to your life. I enjoy working with others and would like the opportunity to help give back to the community that has been assisting me. As a registered nurse (currently licensed, but not practicing), I find learning about the body and pathophysiology fascinating. I enjoy studying and sharing information with others.


To join this Live Yes! Connect Group, please click the "Join this Group” button above and we will send you updates about upcoming events via email. 

Meeting Location and Times: 

Head over to the Calendar of Events to RSVP your attendance.

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Live Yes! Arthritis Network provides personalized help and support to Adults living with all types of arthritis and rheumatic conditions and Parents /Guardians of children living with arthritis. Our programs offer opportunities for connection, education and empowerment via Live Yes! Connect Groups, Online Community and Conferences.

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