I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis about four years ago on 12/11/15, after years of pain. Two years before, I was diagnosed with sclerosing mesenteritis, which I have since found out is part of the AS. I have had back problems for 30+ years with ruptured discs which masked and delayed the AS diagnosis. I have had just about every medicine for AS. All have helped but some have had bad side effects.
I have been married to my beautiful wife, Andrea, for 53 years. We have two children, a boy and a girl, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. We have been retired for 15 years and love traveling in our 5th wheel. I love taking photographs when traveling or not, as photography is my passion.
I was told about a support group in a town 50 miles away, and inquired why there was not one in my town with a 750,000+ population. I was told the support groups were run by volunteers and that there were none in Fresno. Then I was asked if I would like to volunteer. I thought about it for a day or so and said yes. I love meeting new people and would love to share my knowledge, and maybe get others to share also. I believe the first step in a support group is letting others know how your life is affected, so they will not feel alone and know someone understands, and cares. With this knowledge we can support and help each other.
I consider myself to be an old pro at this AS thing after so many difficult years just trying to get this under control. I am extremely excited to learn more about the other types of spondylitis, and even more excited to be doing it in a positive and supportive environment. Those visiting the Fresno, CA group can expect a warm and inviting environment. I love meeting with fellow patients, getting to know them, and making myself available to support them in any way I can. The meetings will also be informative, productive, and supportive. I am looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you.