Tuesday, October 4, 2011
World Arthritis Day - Wednesday October 12, 2011
This afternoon while reading the latest blog entry from RAGUY I learned that Wednesday October 12, 2011 is World Arthritis Day. I went to their website , clicked on the purple tab: WAD Around The World and clicked on the link for Toronto, Ontario (Canada). I was directed to our local provincial chapter of the Arthritis Society...to my surprise there was NO MENTION of World Arthritis Day on their home page, or any where on their website. I even did an advanced search and came up empty.
Last time I checked Canada was still part of the World...sheesh talk about further isolating individuals with arthritis than they already are. We should be shouting from the roof tops taking and making opportunity to raise awareness and educate people around Arthritis and the numerous diseases that often accompany an arthritis diagnosis. Did you know there are over 100 different types of arthritis? The majority of people who hear the word arthritis automatically think of Osteoarthritis and NOT of the much more severe auto-immune varieties such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I am so frustrated to learn that they (Ontario Chapter of the Arthritis Society) do not appear to be taking part in Education and Awareness on this day. World Arthritis Day was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) and is celebrated each year on the 12th of October. So this is nothing new. I frequently visit our Provincial Chapter for information, services and headline news to ensure I am current. It has been the only source for Canadian content that I have found so far andI have researched too many hours to count since my diagnosis.
In most cases the information and issues surrounding Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Auto Immune Diseases in general comes from the USA and Europe. While the support gathered on message boards/facebook pages gives a wonderful sense of community there are: differences, challenges and ways of doing things unique to each Country/State/Province. I personally subscribe to numerous blogs and web sites for information and personal experiences and wish I had a resource for some things that are specifically Canadian. Please know that in no way does this take away from all of the communities that I belong to that are from other countries. These families created by sharing experiences have been a life line for me. I am just looking to round out the information if that makes any sense.
According to the Arthritis Society, Fibromyalgia is also under the umbrella of arthritis although not considered auto-immune it often travels with auto-immune related diseases. This means that two out of my three of my diagnosis are Arthritic/Rheumatic in nature. I feel an obligation to try to raise awareness and educate. This diagnosis blind sided me because I really had no idea of the severity of RA and was honestly gobsmacked to learn there are over 100 types of Arthritis and 100+ Auto-Immune Diseases. I never would have believed that morbidity rates and arthritis belonged together in any way. Boy did I have a lot to learn!
It was suggested to me that since I was so provoked with the lack of Canadian content that I should create a website for Rheumatoid Arthritis /Auto-Immune Education, Awareness and Support with information relevant to the Canadian experience. Today after seeing that our very own Arthritis Society isn't even using the World Arthritis Day to promote education and awareness I am seriously considering it! What do you think?
How will you support World Arthritis Day on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011? Remember you can donate to The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation this is a new organization and donations are very appreciated. If you click on the link you can read what they are currently raising much needed funds for. If you are unable to donate remember you can still help to spread awareness and to educate others. RA Guy has suggested that we share his 60 Second Guide to RA which you can view/print from here.
Perhaps you will be writing a blog in support of WAD. Please be sure to let me know by October 11th, so I can write a blog to be published at midnight of the 12th and let readers know what blogs to read on the 12th in honour of WAD. We can make a difference through education and awareness!!
Remember the Chinese proverb "Many hands make light work". I look forward to hearing from you!
© 2011 Rhonda