Kristin's Story

At times, Kirstin has felt alone and overwhelmed. Finding a community of people with RA has helped her feel more hopeful. She is encouraged to keep searching for ways to live her best life.

After a whitewater rafting trip in 2010, Kirstin had pain in her right thumb. A few months later, the pain and stiffness had spread to her hands, elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, hips, knees, ankles and feet. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an incurable, progressive autoimmune disease.  

In the first five years, Kirstin went from running obstacle course races, working out daily and completing sprint triathlons to being unable to wash her own hair. She was bedridden and unable to drive at times. RA has changed every aspect of her life and finding ways to live well with this disease is an ongoing challenge. 

At times, Kirstin has felt alone and overwhelmed, despite having wonderfully supportive family and friends. Until 2016, she knew no one else that had RA. While her diagnosis has been humbling, frightening and painful, finding a community of people who also struggle with RA has helped. Her hope is that by sharing her story with others, they will know that they are not alone. She is encouraged to never give up the search for ways to live her best life.