Linda is an active grandmother who loves people and serves as a police radio dispatcher. She enjoys ministry work, family vacations and painting. Linda won’t let osteoarthritis stop her.
Linda was living her normal, busy life. One morning, life changed and she had no idea what was happening. Imagine waking up in the morning and sitting back down on the bed as soon as you stand because your legs can’t immediately support you and your ankles are stiff and feel frozen. During an office visit with her primary care physician, x-rays and blood tests revealed a few possibilities and she was referred to a rheumatologist. After further examination by a rheumatologist, she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) and discussed several options for treatment.
OA is referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, with symptoms that are gradual. The disease progresses slowly over the years. It causes pain, swelling and stiffness and limits range of motion in the affected joint. Although the cause of OA is not known, the sooner the disease is confirmed, the sooner treatment can begin.
Through the Arthritis Foundation, Linda found the information and resources needed to better understand arthritis and develop strategies for managing the disease. Since being diagnosed, she has learned lifestyle modifications that are effective in managing the pain, swelling and stiffness. She and her family participated in their very first Walk to Cure Arthritis in 2018, where she was recognized as one of the top fundraisers.
Linda is the OA Adult Honoree for this year’s Memphis Walk to Cure Arthritis. Through her involvement, she hopes to show that life is not defined by arthritis. She has increased her fundraising goal for 2019 to support research for all types of arthritis aimed at finding a cure.