Monday, July 13, 2009

I’ve had the opportunity to meet people across the state of Montana over the past few months, from Helena to Billings, and Butte to the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning and many places in between. I’ve been very inspired by the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard. I listened to a woman from Helena who told me that the Arthritis Foundation’s exercise class is a big reason why she is still able to walk in her early 90’s; I talked to a Rheumatologist who talked about how beneficial the Arthritis Foundation’s support groups have been for his patients; A woman in Butte talked about her brother and how his local chapter had given them both information about nutrition that made a huge difference in his life.

All of theses stories and more really solidify the good work the Arthritis Foundation does for people with arthritis as well as for family members of people with arthritis. I’m excited to continue this work here in Montana and work on expanding the number of people we can reach and help. I look forward to expanding our Exercise and Aquatic classes to more communities across this big state and being a resource for people around the state. I encourage folks here in Montana to give me a call at 406.461.8368 to talk about ways the Arthritis Foundation, Rocky Mountain Chapter can help serve your needs.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Healthcare reform is a very hot topic now all across the country. The Arthritis Foundation recently released a position statement (see below) that lists priorities to be included in any new legislation. As I reviewed these, I thought about all of the people who contact us looking for help with prescriptions, medical equipment, insurance premiums and many other medical costs and how we wish there were more resources for all of these important needs. This is a good time to let your legislators know about some of the issues that you face as a person with arthritis or as a family member or caregiver for someone with arthritis. It really does matter when people call or email their representative and tell their personal story. The Arthritis Foundation has an easy way for people to become involved in advocacy efforts. You can become an e-advocate by only dedicating an hour or less a month. An Arthritis Ambassador commits to two hours a month of advocacy efforts and might do things like write a letter to their newspaper or try to meet in person with a legislator. You can join a network of thousands of people across the country who do make a difference. There is power in numbers! For more information about how to join these efforts go to: www.arthritis/org/inside-advocacy.php or call me, Kathy Jensen, at 303-756-8622 ext. 229.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Vacations are great! They give us an opportunity to relax, refresh, and recharge. Last week I visited the beach for the first time in many, many years.

One day while I sat on the beach watching children and “adult children” running into and away from the waves I noticed a small boy building a sand castle. He had been very careful to make sure the waves would not reach it. He began with a small mound of sand and slowly added to it. As his brothers ran by him into the waves, he smiled and waved but kept at his work. Slowly he completed his castle. Then he started on another small mound. His mother came to sit beside him and commented on his lovely house. But he told her he wasn’t finished, he wanted to build a city before he left the beach. After watching him for a while she began helping him, then his brothers joined them, and then other people stopped by to lend a hand. Slowly and carefully his city was completed. When he and his family were leaving I heard them talking together and he remarked that he could have built the whole thing alone but it was so much bigger and better and a lot more fun when everyone helped.

And that is the picture of the work of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. We have some big goals and some good plans. We can and will accomplish those goals when we work steadily and get more and more people involved. It is a worthwhile challenge.