Raquel’s Story

“I don’t know anyone with arthritis.” This is the most common answer we heard when we recently asked Americans: How many people do you know who are living with arthritis? Ten years ago, Raquel Masco didn’t think she knew anyone with arthritis either. That’s when she began experiencing unusual symptoms.

Searching for Answers

“First, something happened to my skin. Then, my hair fell out. I had trouble swallowing. I thought maybe it was allergies, maybe it was just from being active. Then I started feeling tingling in the bottoms of my feet, my hands and pain in my back and legs.

“I come from a family of strong women where you just keep going. If you’re in the hospital on a Monday, you come home and mow the lawn on Tuesday. Nobody knew I was in pain. But I couldn’t physically get out of bed. It started to affect my job. I’m a hands-on mom, and it was hard for me to keep that up.”

Raquel remembers being “poked and prodded” so many times by so many doctors who said nothing was wrong with her. It wasn’t until she was in a serious car accident that she learned she’d been living with arthritis for more than a decade.

“I got rear-ended by an 18-wheeler sitting at a red light. I had to have an MRI, and it showed I had osteoarthritis.”

Finding a Community of Support
Connecting with people who have been through a similar journey has been transformative for Raquel.

“Finding the Arthritis Foundation was a blessing with a community of people who understood.”

Once Raquel started sharing the story of her diagnosis and living with arthritis, she said other people started coming out and sharing their arthritis story — including friends she’d known for years.

“Others walking through this same journey know what I’m going through and understand. Hearing the treatment that helped others, going to conferences and knowing what to talk to my doctor about is invaluable.”

Today, Raquel runs a nonprofit organization in Texas dedicated to empowering single mothers to live above and beyond their own expectations so they can thrive in every area of their lives. When she’s not working or volunteering for the Arthritis Foundation, she enjoys acting. She acts, writes and directs in a community theater and recently started her own production company to create more inclusive productions, including elevating people with disabilities.

“Being an arthritis warrior means taking the best care of myself, fighting for my best life, and then helping fight for others who may not be able to speak up,” she says. “I fight for the Arthritis Foundation because they care about people who are living with arthritis, and I’m doing everything in my power to make an impact for a cure.”

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

    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.

Donate


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. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, 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.

Volunteer


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.


More About Volunteering

Live Yes! INSIGHTS


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

 

Partner


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.

Trailblazer

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

Visionary

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.

Pioneer

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.

Pacesetter

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.

Signature

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.

Supporting

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

More About Partnerships