Showing posts with label patient centered research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label patient centered research. Show all posts

Friday, June 9, 2017

Delving Into "hopefully" a New Outlook on Rheumatic Illnesses & finding Ways to get the word out to Others... Possibly a New BOOK, A new "Non-Profit" to be active with, and a "new attitude" for myself "Relationships" Chronic Illnesses, and Life

I've been basically "drowning" in my own sea of dispare over the past several months. TODAY being the 1 year anniversary of my Mom passing away, of course makes things even a bit more "difficult" to hold my head up and move forward.

I have a close relative that talks often about "being lonely" and is alone. In other words right now there is no "one significant" other, and I totally relate. My situation is much the same. The only "significant" other for me, is Peanut, my "Holi-Terrier"... as I call him! :)

So, I get the times that you wished there was someone there to talk to, to go to the market with, to go out and grab a bite to eat with, someone to be with you when you go through tough surgeries, or doctor's appointments... and just basically someone to "share" life's up's and down's come what may.

After my last "breakup" I told myself, I would NEVER "commit" again. I feel as if there are basically "3 strikes" against me as far as very long-term relationships, and for me, that means I am just not cut out for the "relationship" thing anymore. Possibly I was NEVER cut out for it, but I was damned and hell, that I would NOT give up! Thus my 3rd one, I thought was for "infinity". Well, NOTHING here on this Earth is for Infinity! One way or the other ALL whatever it be shall come to an end.

I've given much thought to either venturing out on my own, to a club, and I tried the church situation for awhile, and I need to get back to going. After I had all of the problems with Mom, then me and my own surgeries and so forth, I just had to stop going for awhile, until I was well. Furthermore, I really feel badly stating this, but although I was a "new member".... not ONE PERSON ever even bothered to check on me, or see why I suddenly stopped coming. This is after I had "joined" the church. Frankly, since I was actually ill, and had surgery etc. it really hurt my feelings that not one soul bothered to check on me. Besides, I (and maybe it was just my own stuff) but felt like my "tidings" were not "enough" weekly. Yet, I was giving what I felt the Lord asked me to, and also being with only my income which is very low, it was as much as I could give at that time.

Anyway, not to get too deep into religion, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Yet, I will go back, it maybe that I go to another church, and not back to that one.

I have long been a follower of "Creaky Joints" a Non-Profit started by Seth Ginsberg who himself developed a Rheumatic Illness in his 20's. Like many of us, he found there was just not enough information out there for patients and caretakers. Actually in many ways there was not a great deal of information back just a few years ago for the medical profession. I was shocked to find out how many nurses, and even Physicians knew little about some of the autoimmune illnesses, and many tied into RA, Lupus... things like Sjogren's, Raynaud's, and MANY other AI illnesses that are "joint related" yet also effect other parts of the body.

At times I felt as if I was "educating" my own doctor. So, Seth opened his mind, his heart, and his talents to begin "Creaky Joints", which recently began a new program and app actually called "Arthritis Power". I just recently got it to download on my phone, and I have it open on my computer.

As I begin the "journey" through it, I hope not only does it help me, but it gives me the
"heart" to once again write on my book, and get myself advocacy back on tract. After the ordeal with my Mom in 2016, and then her passing away only 6 months after showing signs of "Lewy Body Dementia", it was quite a shock for me, and my family, friends of the family and other family members.

So, rather than ponder this "lonely" phase in my life, after talking with a wonderful woman on the phone earlier this week, that is a part of "Arthritis Power" I was inspired to try and give myself a break, and find that "voice" that can take me wherever I want to go, whether writing, blogging, being more involved in the advocacy, activism, and Ambassadorship roles that I so love being a part of.

So, here below are a couple of links. You can go to these and find out more information about "Arthritis Power" and "Creaky Joints".....

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

University of Alabama At Birmingham

"PCORI" and "UAB" both sponsors of "Arthritis Power"

Monday, November 7, 2016

Day 6 - "Superpower Sunday?" #HAWMC - WEGO's Monthly 2016 Blog/Writers Challenge! What kind of "SUPERPOWER" would I have & How I would use it?

Superpower Sunday! WEGO Health - Day 6 of the Monthly Blog/Writer Challenge! 

What kind of "Superpower" would I have and how would I use it?

Great Question, and one I had to give thought to. If I was able to have some type of superpower, first of all, I would want it to be something that could help ALL who are chronically ill, in chronic pain, and especially in some realm where I could help "diagnose" what was wrong and have the ability to fix it, or possibly stop it before it even happened.

So, I guess I would want the ability to see "behind" as far as years, decades and so forth, plus be able to see ahead in the decades and years to come. In that sight, I would want the ability to "look" at someone, or touch someone and know immediately they were ill, before any symptoms really arose. Then I would want to be able to put together what their future and their past looks like, even forward to their grand kids and all of their relatives ahead, along with all of their years before they were born, and find if their were "issues medically" that they had no clue existed. 

I would want to be able to "see" within my mind's eye, what was coming "medically" in the future, and take that to what had been gathered in the past, such as Penicillin, or the place where the "gene" for a certain type of breast cancer was found, and put that data together to help stop severe medical problems we as humans have, and event some way to "stop" those events before they were even known to exist. I know this sounds like more than "one" superpower, but it is mainly having the ability to "see" ahead and "behind", to correlate that information so "chronic illnesses" such as Diabetes, Cancer, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, AIDS, "genetic" illnesses that begin in "utero" long before they can be "seen", and the diseases that are to come in the future, able to "halt" their progress well before they are ever in fruition to exist within humans. 

I basically would want to be a "super doctor, medical research expert" and "fix" what is wrong well before it happens, as well as "heal" those who have already been in the "grip" of some of our horrid illnesses that strike down so many thousands and thousands annually.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

More Incredible News on the Homefront of the Fight Against Lupus

$1.12 million to fine-tune the body’s “Homeland Security”

Posted on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Allen, CTRC, 210-450-2020;

Physician searches for better lupus therapy and clues to ovarian cancer treatment at the same time....

Monday, January 13, 2014

DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!! Even for the weary and broken hearted!!! This is HUGE NEWS!!!!!

OKAY!!!!!!!!THIS is HUGE!!!!!!!!!! About 3 weeks ago I got an email from the organization. It was for a "grant application" to go to the get a complete GRANT AWARD to go to the 2014 Arthritis Foundation's Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C. in March... ALL EXPENSES PAID!!! Well, of course I figured I would never hear back, and about 10 minutes ago I received an email from a lady there and I AM GOING TO WASHINGTON D.C. IN MARCH TO BE THERE AT THE SUMMIT...ALL EXPENSES PAID!!!!!! PMG!!!! MY OTHER DREAM to stand on the "White House Steps" and "tell my story" is NOW A DREAM COME TRUE!!!!!!! I have read the email 5 times and I still cannot believe my eyes!!!!! This is so huge words again cannot express how  many emotions and feelings are with me right now!!!!!! It will be March 24th through the 26th!!!!  I've got to respond and of course it is YES!!!!! I am not sure exactly what I said in that lengthy grant application but SOMEONE IS LOOKING OUT for me now!!!!!! Lord, I can't even type!!!!!!   Rhia



I will give more details tomorrow when I am still SHOCKED, BUT a bit back down to "Earth"!!!!! I have to say, and I do not want at all to sound conceited, BUT HONESTLY I am PROUD of myself, and I feel I truly deserve this opportunity to SPEAK OUT for ALL of us suffering from these diseases!!! Diseases that more often than NOT RUIN Our Quality of Life!!! Believe me, if the Lord does let me get there, every thing I do and say will represent ALL of US!!!!!!   

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The (IFAA) formally Introduces "The Year of the Patient"

                      IFAA's - "The Year of The Patient"

I am thrilled to share this exciting news with you! The International Autoimmune Arthritis Foundation is announcing 2014 as "The Year of The Patient"!

Here is just a peek at what the IFAA (International Foundation of Autoimmune Arthritis) has "in store"!

Isn't it ABOUT TIME!!! "You" the PATIENT was put as "#1" when it comes to your care???

In 2013, the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis was created as an extension to the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement 501c3 nonprofit, adding patient-centered research, advocacy, and support to the existing awareness, wellness education, and global network platform.

So what will happen in 2014?
Patient-Centered Research:
We will start off the year with our first patient-centered research grant, funded by Janssen Global, Inc, a study led by IFAA (patients) that will investigate the early signs and symptoms of these diseases, then comparing them to each other and to existing literature used for clinical diagnosis. The goal is to find correlation between the diseases early enough to promote quicker detection and referrals, as well as diagnosis and treatment. No more unnecessary disability!

In addition, Tami Brown, co-founder, has signed on as a permanent PCORI (patient-centered outcomes research institute) reviewer, and co-founder/CEO, Tiffany Westrich, was invited to serve on an ad-hoc basis as the 2nd patient ever to help NIAMS review their clinical grant submissions (National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases). IFAA will also be applying for additional grants where the patient community works with researchers, but serves as the lead in the project instead of the consultant.

Wellness Education:
We will also be creating wellness education from the Janssen-funded study, aimed to educate both patients and practitioners in new, updated early detection strategies. Also, we will be creating education for patients (both juvenile and adult) that better explains how these diseases work on a cellular level, followed with outlines for a broad, cross-disciplinary treatment menu so patients can learn to choose the path best for their disease journey.

IFAA will continue hosting our Media Awareness Hotline, a service online where YOU can submit false or misinformation published or broadcasted about autoimmune arthritis diseases. Our team will combat the misinformation, working diligently to obtain a correction or retraction.

IFAA will be providing extra training for those existing volunteers who wish to work with JA patients, acting as advisors, friends, and sounding boards. JA'ers will have the opportunity, through the JA Mentorship Program, to submit questions about dealing with their disease (from how to select a college major, to dating, to advocacy) and our team will help answer those questions and provide advice.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2014:
For the 3rd year IFAA will host WAAD, a 47 hour virtual convention held ONLINE that unites patients around the world with nonprofits, advocates, researchers and an abundance of education and resources- all of which they can DOWNLOAD to their own computer. More about WAAD14 coming soon!

This is just a sample of what 2014 will bring to patients, straight from the patients and volunteers who run IFAA. We are patients fighting for a better today and tomorrow, from our computers, beds, and sofas. As our CEO says, "Together we can move mountains. Bulldozers are so overrated."

Here's to a fantastic 2014!

(If you would like to donate to the IFAA or request more information about volunteering, please visit our website at

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Very Own Way I Can Show "My" Little piece of the World I "Represent" International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis

             Representing International Foundation of AutoImmune Arthritis

I did not get to put these photos up yesterday with the doctors visits and so forth. Holidays, RA, Lupus, pain, stiffness, medications, stress, all rolled up into one huge ball when you are right in the middle of any type of Chronic Pain, Disease, and/or Autoimmune Arthritic Diseases.

I have shared the "story" about this bracelet (that by the way I AM WEARING)! "proudly" I may say also. So, proudly, I find myself not wanting to take it off. So, it is a wonderful idea that there is one of the "rubber types" that come with these. That way I can shower, do laundry, housework, or just about anything, and still have "IFAA" right on my hand, and at my side! Tiffany "hand makes" every one of this original "Buckle Me Up" Bracelets just as she did from the very 1st one. Which is how IFAA took its' first baby steps, into a "Movement" and then quickly to a "Non-Profit" Foundation, which is moving ahead for patients by leaps and bounds! These are a bit "blurry". I took them hurriedly yesterday morning. But, I'll get more today that are clearer and much better. But for now I just have to share these!!!

A bit about my own "Active Volunteer" journey. I happened to have met Tiffany Westrich Robertson, who is the "founder" of what now is known as the IFAA. Through a mutual Facebook friend, I found out about an "art" show that would benefit RA, Lupus, Still's Disease, Juvenile RA. Sjogren's, MCTD, UCTD along with the other autoimmune arthritic diseases that I suffer from, but I also am and have been a very strong ADVOCATE for in getting things changed for us as Patients, Caretakers, Friends, Family, and the Medical Profession. I had sent a message to her about my two published books! I thought they may help the "cause". So, I offered to send a copy of both to her for the "art" show that was to benefit this cause! I got to be friends with Tiffany and follow her life a bit through Facebook. I quickly found out her story about RA, and the same "rivers" that flow way to long before we get out of rushing waters of these illnesses was her journey also. I found out from there about her foundation, volunteering, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I needed to be an Active Volunteer! Thus here I am.... I share these with you, and they are a proud reminder of the difference I am watching unfold through IFAA!!!!   Rhia

Here is what the beads and the design mean on the "Buckle Me Up" Bracelet as it was called in its' beginning.

The 3 silver beads & 3 black beads represent all people working together to make a difference. Red is the color of strength & signifies the strength we all achieve in numbers. The final silver bead symbolizes moving forward to find more people to join the movement to raise a global awareness about Autoimmune Arthritis diseases ...
"The International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis".

The "IAAM" was the "infant" stage of IFAA. Beginning as a "Movement" - it was named "International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement", then "moved" forth to be the IFAA.
So, the "IAAM" means (on the rubbery bracelet)

I am..
A Leader For Change,
A Believer in Progress,
And Rebranding Stereotypes.
I Am an Advocate for
Autoimmune Arthritis Awareness.

Introducing the VERY 1ST Patient-Centered RESEARCH Project - IFAA sponsored by Janssen Global

I was so totally thrilled yesterday evening when I got this announcement! Excited for IFAA (International Foundation For Autoimmune Arthritis), for myself as a New Active Volunteer & for ALL PATIENTS out there have suffered too long, waited sometimes years, went through the pits and fires, walked through what seemed like a long black hallway, before finding a real "diagnosis". Sound Familiar? Yes, it describes so MANY of us around the globe!

               Here is the "official announcement" from IFAA of the very

                                 First Patient Centered Research Project!
So, after much hard work by some dedicated volunteers, which story started with one young woman determined to change the Face of How Those with Autoimmune Arthritis would be helped!

As you can see, we have Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. to thank for helping with such an extremely important study! Please take a look at their website to see they believe in patients being their inspiration!

This is truly a new step to the Future of Autoimmune Arthritis being diagnosed early, being treated earlier, less damage, and a better quality of life!

~~~~~~~~~ Congrats! To the both of them!!! This is a remarkable and memorable day ~~~~~~~~~