Thursday, March 19, 2009


I have just celebrated an anniversary this week – four years with the Rocky Mountain Chapter. These have been four years of learning, changes, and growth. When I came to the Arthritis Foundation I didn’t know very much about Arthritis. I knew what I had heard all my life – the myths – but had no personal experience with arthritis. So after I learned how to work the computer, the telephone system, the accounting program, and the security system, I turned my attention to the people. I started to watch, listen, and learn. I watched and listened to those living daily with arthritis. I learned about the many programs that are available to improve daily lives and about the many research projects that are on going. I learned the part our chapter plays and how each member of our staff contributes. I just didn’t realize how personal it would become.

On Monday I received a very tearful telephone call from my dearest, life-long friend – yes, in Texas. Through her tears she told me she has been diagnosed with OA. She is naturally very frightened about this. It has been very sudden and very painful. However, she is fortunate to live in an area where there is a Rheumatologist and was able to see this doctor very quickly. I was so thankful that I could direct her to our website for information and was able to give her encouragement and understanding. Together we have faced all life experiences – grade school, high school, college, marriages, births, two battles with cancer, and even deaths. Arthritis has suddenly become very personal!

As I look back over these past four years, I know there have been many changes– changes in the staff, in the way we do things, in programs – but the one thing that remains constant is the importance of our mission and our determination to stay true to that mission. Here’s to many more good years!

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