Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Presenting to Rep. Price

      On Monday, I was invited to present an award to Representative David Price on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation. We gave a Congressional Arthritis Champion Award to Rep. Price in honor of his membership in the Congressional Arthritis Caucus and his sponsorship of legislation that benefits arthritis patients by making expensive medications, such as biologics, affordable for a wide range of patients. Additionally, Rep. Price is very conscious of the dire need for the expansion of medical research in the United States, particularly research that overlaps and unlocks clues to the potential cures for many different diseases. We spoke with Rep. Price about the challenges faced by patients with arthritis and shared a little bit about our personal health stories, especially our struggles with medication, while discussing the role the government does and should play in ensuring quality healthcare for residents. I am thankful to have a congressman who cares so much about his constituents and who is well-informed about the realities of arthritis. Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States, and it is an epidemic that all legislators and government officials should be aware of and should be actively fighting against.

      Being an Arthritis Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation is one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had as a result of my illness. I have learned how to translate my personal medical concerns into legislative goals, and it is empowering to be able to take action against the injustices I see in the healthcare system. The Arthritis Foundation provides Ambassadors with monthly assignments and local opportunities to be involved. Additionally, being an Arthritis Ambassador has connected me to wonderful people throughout my community dealing with similar health problems. Everywhere I go, I am able to meet people whose hair also falls out at alarming rates and who feel intimidated by the thought of walking a mile on a flare day. We exchange stories and ideas, laughing over the number of rheumatologists we have scared away with our complex medical cases and unashamedly inquiring about the random side effects we are experiencing.

      If you are interested in getting involved or learning about the Ambassador Program, click here to be directed to the Arthritis Foundation site that will help you take the first steps. It is well worth your time and energy, and that is saying a lot, since most of us do not have a ton of either of those.

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