Sandra’s Story  

Sandra has always been extremely active. When she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she found a way to overcome her pain and continue her lifestyle. 

Sandra grew up as a very active child – running, bicycling, swimming, snow skiing, etc. As an adult, she has remained active by participating in 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, biathlons and many other recreational activities. In her early 40s, she began experiencing some pain and difficulties with her arms and hands. Sandra went to the emergency room twice for this, but they could not determine the cause. Over the course of the next five years, several inexplicable pains and difficulties with dexterity occurred, such as drying her hair or buttoning clothing. Her symptoms had grown worse during the last six months of 2009, but she did not understand what was causing her symptoms.  

  At work, a coworker noticed a very strange red bump on the back of each of Sandra’s hands. She thought that it was unusual but did not see it as anything significant. That night, she fell asleep with no problem but was awakened with a horrible stabbing pain in the middle of each hand. The pain was so bad that she could find no relief. That morning, she found an orthopedic hand specialist who could see her. She checked her hands thoroughly but could find no cause for this pain. She asked Sandra to have some blood tests to rule out rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  Less than a week later, the doctor called her to tell her she did have RA.  

  As soon as she received her diagnosis, she began to research. She found some very useful articles that were published by the Arthritis Foundation.  She called the Atlanta office and spoke with a very nice woman who told her that they could provide her with helpful information. The woman offered to send it to her or suggested Sandra could come by to pick it up. Sandra chose to come pick up the material. It was at this time she learned about the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis. She has been involved in the event each year since, and she says it gives her a feeling of strength rather than being a victim of this awful, debilitating illness.  

  By the time that Sandra began seeing her rheumatologist, within a few months of her initial diagnosis, she began taking prednisone. The negative effects of this steroid outweighed the positive effects. Sandra was then put on a chemotherapy pill, seven pills once per week, which has helped. The following year, she started receiving infusions of a biologic every month. She is now receiving these infusions every other month. Sandra is currently living life with little pain and continues a very active lifestyle. In September 2016, she and her husband hiked the Grand Canyon and the Narrows at Zion National Park and kayaked at Lake Powell.  
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.