This year is a year of special anniversaries: it’s the 10th anniversary for the Walk for Arthritis, the 50th anniversary of the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre, and finally, this year is the 10th anniversary of my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. I started developing inflammatory arthritis symptoms early in 2009, my family physician referred me to a rheumatologist, and the rheumatologist immediately referred me to the Rapid Access Diagnosis clinic at the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre. I was seen at Mary Pack within 2 weeks, got the RA diagnosis, and started medical treatment right away.
I believe this speedy assessment and treatment prevented my arthritis from progressing and causing permanent damage. I also attended an arthritis management workshop, and received helpful physiotherapy and occupational therapy services at the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre. This is gold standard treatment, which is, unfortunately, not available everywhere. People who don’t receive timely assessment and treatment can go on to develop permanent joint damage, chronic pain, serious medical complications, disability and premature death. Arthritis also costs us $33 billion annually in healthcare costs and lost productivity. We need better access to quality services, and research to develop better treatments.
On Saturday June 1st, 2019, I will be walking to support the over 6 million Canadians with arthritis, including 24,000 Canadian children with arthritis, my family members and friends who have arthritis, and myself. Please help by donating to the Arthritis Society.
Thank you very much!
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