Despite the challenges of osteoarthritis, Ben has a champion’s attitude.
“I power through. I adjust my activities and keep it moving. I’m lucky to have learned methods of coping that I now practice.”
“I was limping and aching constantly,” says Ben. “The pain is so draining that it makes you selfish. I had no concept of how this would change my life.”
Ben has always been active and into anything that involves the great outdoors. Snowboarding, kayaking, mountain biking and rock climbing, just to name some favorite pastimes. At 15, Ben tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) but didn’t know it. Though it healed, OA was beginning to develop. He was diagnosed with the disease when he had ACL reconstruction surgery more than 20 years ago.
Ben, now 40, works long, hard hours as owner and chief chef of Spice Kitchen and Bar in Cleveland. He also runs Spice Catering Company. Four years ago, he, his wife and two children moved to a 13-acre conservancy farm nestled inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio, which they named Spice Acres. They raise livestock and grow produce for his restaurant and other customers.
Despite the challenges OA poses, Ben has a Champion of Yes attitude. “I power through. I adjust my activities and keep it moving. I’m lucky to have learned methods of coping that I now practice.”
Ben’s encounter with OA has motivated him to support the Arthritis Foundation. He has donated goods and services to the Foundation’s local fundraisers for many years. He understands others who deal with the challenges of arthritis, which has no cure.
“I’m grateful for this challenge,” he says. “It has taught me a great deal about myself and having compassion for people in pain.”