I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis at a young age. I consider myself to be fortunate getting my diagnosis at 12 years of age because it meant I could focus on taking care of myself as I got older. When my back was hurting at age 16, I knew why and I knew I needed to take a break. It also meant that I have had a long time to get used to my lifetime partner, Ankylosing Spondylitis.
For many years I took the “Live well and be well” path thinking as long as I took care of myself I will be fine. A few years ago, I realized AS is too aggressive for being treated with a positive mindset. I have tried various treatments in the forms of NSAIDs and Biologics, and other more natural treatments. I can say without a doubt, I am now quite experienced.
I have always had the desire to help other people like me. I figured why have all this real life experience if I can’t use it to help others. In 2007 I founded a Facebook based support group as my launching off point to reaching out to and helping my fellow Spondyloarthritis patients. Years later the group has over 15,000 members and is growing every day. While it is amazing to connect with people all around the world, I wanted to do more to help those in the St. Louis region. This is why I am so excited to be co-leading the St Louis SAA support group.
Those visiting the St Louis 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 can’t wait to meet everyone!