Arthritis Support Network launched: 2018
Arthritis Support Network Leader: Kim Type of Arthritis: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Osteoarthritis, Inflammatory Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Secondary Sjogren's, and Raynaud's
About this Arthritis Support Network:
My vision for the Indiana, PA Arthritis Support Network is to build lasting connections and support for those in our area living with arthritic diseases. Through social contact, education, and fun we look for new ways to face our challenges and leave our meetings empowered. Meetings are open to caregivers, families, and friends. We look forward to meeting you!
My name is Kim. I was diagnosed with SLE (Lupus) in 2001. Interestingly I was diagnosed and Walter Reed Medical Center while my husband was serving in the Air Force. Many people do not think of lupus as an arthritic disease but it affects the muscular and skeletal systems in most patients. For me, that includes inflammatory arthritis that resembles RA without the positive RA factor.
As an Air Force wife, I spent most of my adult life volunteering for everything from softball coach to chairing fund/material raising to support our troops overseas. My husband retired from the military in 2003 and we settled in southwestern Pennsylvania. I was able to finally finish my college degree in Theology and put down roots in our community by volunteering in our local parish. The timing was great as we were empty nesters with our youngest going off to college. However, 4 years ago my lupus decided to become more active and I had to make some major life changes, as we who deal with chronic pain must. I gave up the volunteering and found new ways to live.
I learned that I have quite a creative side and now love to crochet, sew, embroider, needlepoint, and paint. (I'm not very good at the painting but it is SO much fun!) I also love to read and write, walk or bike in the woods, and play with my adorable little white bichon frise, Barnaby. My absolute favorite pastime is spending time with my family, especially my two sweet granddaughters.
I am leading an Arthritis Support Network because, with new medication, I find my health improving to the point that I can return to my love of volunteering. Starting an Arthritis Support Network in my area seems like the perfect fit. Much of our county consists of small towns and rural areas leaving those with chronic disease feeling isolated and lonely. The fact that many of these diseases fall under the umbrella of arthritis led me to believe that the social and emotional needs of many patients could be met in a positive and empowering way through connection. Not only will we build a support network for those difficult days, but we hope to build a better future for ourselves by focusing on the positives and getting out there to live our best lives!
To join this Arthritis Support Network, please click on the "Join this Group” button above and we will send you updates about upcoming events via email.
All group participants agree to adhere to the Support Group Participant Guidelines.