If at First You Don’t Succeed, Keep Trying

Sachi Arya climbs mountains, literally. But everyday tasks can seem like a mountain to people who are hurting from arthritis pain. And everyone’s mountain is different. Sachi offers encouraging words to help you climb yours.

Sachi Arya was diagnosed with painful osteoarthritis (OA) in both knees in his early 40s. At first, he couldn’t believe it. “No way do I have arthritis,” he thought. “That’s an old person’s disease.” When his diagnosis was confirmed by multiple MRI scans, he refused to give in.

One doctor told him: “You’re not trying to climb mountains, so it’s no big deal. You’ll be OK.” That’s all it took for Sachi to rise to the challenge. Because mountain climbing was exactly what he wanted to do.

He rejected other possible treatment options for his pain, such as steroids, stem cell injections and joint replacement surgery, fearing further complications and uncertain benefits. “The only thing that benefits me is exercises and keeping my lower body muscles strong and active,” he says.

In the following years, Sachi successfully climbed dozens of mountains to prove to himself that he can do it, despite his OA — including Mount Rainier and Mount Everest Base Camp. A year ago, he scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain at 19,300 feet, in a Do-It-Yourself fundraiser to raise money for arthritis research and resources, with an Arthritis Foundation sign in hand.

The Next Challenge

In January 2022, Sachi climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain outside the Himalaya range in Asia at 22,800 feet. Soon after, he began training for his next journey: reaching the summit of Lenin Peak, on the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, at more than 23,000 feet. It’s the second highest point in both countries and the highest he had ever attempted to climb.

Since the beginning of this year, Sachi worked hard for several months to prepare for his next venture. To build his strength, he used weights. “I must account not just for the weight of my backpack, but the weight on my ankles. When I climb, I’m wearing a double boot with steel crampons, constantly lifting my feet and bringing them back down. I added five pounds to each of my ankles in training.”

He also introduced stretching exercises, realizing the importance of not just strength training but endurance training as well, especially because oxygen levels drop as climbers go higher, causing altitude sickness. He uses devices that help him climb, like compression sleeves, a prescription knee brace, orthotics for stabilization and various hiking tools.

Everything was going well until Sachi arrived at his destination in late July and was diagnosed with COVID at his first campsite. He got infected during his flight and had to be evacuated back to the United States.

“It was such a bummer,” Sachi says. “I was all set to do it again. But I’m still looking forward to accomplishing my next goal in the not-too-distant future.

“This just goes to show you that unknown obstacles can happen along the journey of reaching your goals. So, you just have to pick yourself back up and try again. Don’t give up.”

You Have Your Own Mountains to Climb

Sachi is the first to tell you that mountain climbing isn’t for everyone. “For me, climbing mountains has motivated me. I wanted to be active for a change, after just sitting around for so long and doing nothing physically. I needed to get my mind and body into shape. Climbing mountains is how I push myself.

“Whatever your mountain is — whether it’s getting out of bed each morning, getting dressed, walking around the block, whatever it is — your mountain is yours to climb. So, go for it.”

An information technology data analyst, Sachi has become so committed to the quest to conquer arthritis that he joined the Arthritis Foundation’s local leadership board in San Antonio. He learned a lot about effectively managing his disease from the Foundation’s website and has enthusiastically used our Vim pain management mobile app to help him reach his goals and connect with other arthritis patients and caregivers.

“Managing arthritis pain isn’t easy, but you can do it with the right tools and resources, like the Arthritis Foundation provides,” Sachi says. “Plus, you can get the emotional support of others who are going through similar challenges in their own journeys.”

He says that one of the greatest rewards from his pursuits is inspiring friends and family to hike and learn to be active. “If I can motivate just one other person to live a fuller life, I’ve reached my goal.”

He concludes: “Whatever mountain you’re trying to climb, even just conquering the pain and everyday hurdles you face, you can do it. Just give it a try.”


Learn how you can get involved to help support the arthritis community.

Stay in the Know. Live in the Yes.

Get involved with the arthritis community. Tell us a little about yourself and, based on your interests, you’ll receive emails packed with the latest information and resources to live your best life and connect with others.

I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate


    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer


    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner


    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

Become a Volunteer

More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.