A Formula for Success: Natalie Decker Is Driven to Beat Arthritis
By Rebecca Gillett, MS OTR/L - Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast Co-Host
When you are diagnosed with arthritis later in life, your experience and journey is very different than those who are diagnosed as young children. Yes, kids get arthritis, too. And as someone who was diagnosed in my mid-20s, I can remember how my world turned upside down and took detours along the way., Today, I can honestly say that it was all for the better. But when you’re diagnosed at age 2, like so many kids with juvenile arthritis, living with arthritis is all you know. It’s a very different mindset to go through your childhood with a chronic illness that may limit what you can do.
I know all the things I’ve had to say No to, or stop doing, because of my joint issues and surgeries I’ve had in the last 20 years. It has certainly made me a different person and changed my perspective on life.
I remember attending my first Arthritis Foundation National Juvenile Arthritis Conference as a volunteer. I listened to so many kids with arthritis share their stories and came away feeling a fire in my belly to do more, be more, advocate more, for arthritis — because of them. They brought joy and tears to my eyes. And awe. So much awe for these brave kids and their families. Since then, I have never met a JA kid who I didn’t find inspiring. I have always felt they have these “old souls.” And it’s because of this journey they have to grow up and navigate through their life from such a young age. They inspire me to be better.
On this episode of the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast, Julie Eller and I had the pleasure to spend time with an amazing JA warrior and rising NASCAR driver, Natalie Decker. She proved my theory that all kids with JA are awe-inspiring. Her positive outlook and words of wisdom for someone who is still a young adult, even those who are younger, will help anyone who listens understand why she is racing her way to the top of the NASCAR racetracks. Natalie will inspire you to take control of your arthritis, too, and she shares her winning formula:
A + B = R
What does that mean? Tune in to this special episode to learn why Natalie Decker is driven to beat arthritis and how this formula is the secret to what helped her gain control of managing her arthritis and her quality of life. Don’t miss it!