I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis when I was 22 years old. I had experienced lower back pain for a few years prior to diagnosis and visited many doctors who couldn’t figure out the cause for all the pain I was experiencing. Everything came together when I woke up one morning with very limited vision and red irritated eyes. After a visit to a wonderful Ophthalmologist, I was told I had Iritis and asked if I had any joint pain. I tested positive for the HLA-B27 gene and was referred to a Rheumatologist. I have been on a biologic that has been working and I am so thankful for that.
I am a wife, teacher and mother of two beautiful daughters. My wonderful husband, family and friends have been an amazing support system for me. I don’t know how I would have made it through my difficult times without them.
With a chronic condition like AS, I have learned to live each day to its fullest. I enjoy traveling, photography, reading, yoga and kayaking.
I became interested in leading a support group after browsing the SAA website. Also, I have been wanting to get to know others with AS to share our experiences together. I have realized over the years how common AS actually is and I am learning more each day about this disease. I enjoy reading about research being done by SAA and would like as a group to discuss and share knowledge as well as share experiences in a group setting. I look forward to meeting you soon.