Patients with chronic illness share their animated, inspiring stories
by Brandpoint (ARA) Sponsored Content
Nov 13, 2013 | 23035 views | 0 0 comments | 78 78 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - When faced with struggles, people often turn to others for support, comfort and guidance. There is great value in knowing you're not alone especially for patients with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues, causing fluid buildup in the joints and pain and inflammation throughout the body.

Because many of its symptoms are also associated with various other illnesses, RA is a somewhat silent disease. As patients battle this sometimes misunderstood illness, they must face each day with courage and strength while experiencing fatigue, pain and sometimes disability.

Finding support can be key to dealing with the complexity and unpredictability of RA, but despite the fact that approximately 1.3 million adults in the United States have RA, many patients are searching for a way to share their story and inspire others with the condition.

To meet the need, RA health advocates have teamed up to create an animated video series, called 'RAise Your Voice.' The videos, found on, feature patients, physicians and advocacy partners sharing their own experiences to encourage others, inspire patients and shed light on the disease. The videos also inform those who know or care for RA patients, but may not understand the full impact of the disease.

Tess DeMarco, a participant in one of the videos, has lived with RA for more than 35 years. Despite her doctor's predictions, DeMarco became a ballroom dancer at 21 and, to this day, she refuses to let the disease control her. 'Having people to lean on throughout this process makes all the difference,' she says. 'My family helped me every step of the way.' DeMarco, now a mother of three and grandmother of two, feels strongly about using her own experience to help others cope with the disease.

Seth Ginsberg, president and co-founder of CreakyJoints, an advocacy group and one of the most popular online arthritis communities in the world, also lends his voice to the video series. 'In order to be able to manage this disease, you have to be educated about it and you must consult your doctor,' he says.

In the first video, Ginsberg and DeMarco team up with other 'RA veterans' to speak out about the disease, share their stories and encourage others to do the same.

To see Ginsberg, DeMarco and other 'RA Veterans' in the first video as well as others in the series and to learn more about RA, visit

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.