Amanda Hatfield is a 37-year-old mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with her undergraduate degree in 2004 while working in healthcare. Just as her life began in her mid-twenties, she started to experience unusual swelling in both of her hands which caused her some pain. Given her background in the healthcare ad medical insurance field, she began to search for answers by reaching out to first a primary care physician, referral to a hand specialist, and ending up with a Rheumatologist who diagnosed her as having rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
A quest for answers to a new diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of twenty-four lead Amanda to connect with the local Arkansas Arthritis Foundation. “I was initially shocked about having to live with a lifelong auto-immune disease and then I thought about how hard it must be on children that are not even old enough to express that they are in pain,” Amanda says. She has now been living with RA for over thirteen years and has found the need to give back and contribute to a cause that seeks to find a cure. She has been involved with the Arkansas Arthritis Foundation by sitting on the Juvenile Arthritis Walk Committee over the years and most recently taking on the role as the adult honoree of the 2018 Jingle Bell Run in downtown Little Rock.
Amanda continues to live a full and active life and her RA continues to be well managed. "Being diagnosed with RA does not have to be a life altering sentence, but a reason to fight for an answer and a cure to help all of those that are suffering. Staying motivated is key!" Currently, Amanda serves on the Arthritis Foundation’s local Leadership Board as the Live Yes! Network Leader Chair.