For my wife, Ann, and our children, arthritis has been a part of our lives for the past 30 years. Shortly after we were married, at the age of 23, Ann began experiencing some very puzzling and painful symptoms that would flare up and go away.
After our daughter was born, Ann could no longer get out of bed in the mornings and needed help with the simplest task. Seven years after her first symptoms appeared, Ann received a definitive diagnosis of what is a crossover disease of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
With new medications, today Ann's flare-ups occur less often, but RA never really goes away; it comes back and stays as long as it wants.
We started volunteering with the Arthritis Foundation to help those facing similar challenges. It was here that we found the gateway to critical research that is allowing doctors to develop better diagnostic tools, cutting edge treatments and, someday, a cure.
Ann and I are honored to chair the Annual Campaign and we ask you to please join us by making a donation to help us fund much needed research, advocacy and support for families coping with all forms of arthritis.
Every step counts in finding a cure for arthritis. We are confident that, with your help, we will change lives.
Joe and Ann Nellis Campaign Chairs
Joe Nellis is Managing Director of Business Development with GE Capital. He is Chair-elect of the Arthritis Foundation Northeast Region Board of Directors.
To donate to the Annual Campaign, click here.