There’s one part of my new blog look that I feel like I should probably explain, especially since there are more new followers. Over there on the right, under that picture of my face and the buttons that link to my social media sites, there’s a description of me.
Author and teacher? Okay, that makes sense. Obsessive social media user? Also makes sense. Exhibit A: this blog. Coffee drinker? Everyone is clear on that – I tweet about coffee probably every day and I mention it in far too many posts. But there’s the phrase that probably made you stop and think for a minute. Arthritis advocate. I’m sure some of you were thinking, “What the heck does she mean by that?”
Well, it definitely does not mean that I fight for the existence of arthritis. But I’m sure you already knew that. It means that I fight for awareness of the reality of living with one of the many kinds of arthritis. I fight for more research into these diseases. I fight for better treatment of people with these diseases, including lessing discrimination. Most importantly, I fight for a cure.
If you read back to some of my older posts (cough this one cough), then you know that I have inflammatory arthritis. The official label right now is rheumatoid arthritis. That’s why this cause is so important to me – I’m directly affected by it, and I know how it feels to suffer from it.
So how do I enact my advocacy? A couple of different ways.
1) Talking about the reality of arthritis in forums like this, and including specific numbers and facts about people who have arthritis as well as the disease(s) itself/themselves.
3) I bought an Arthritis Action Pak. (I wrote a post about my Action Pak.) Buying it supported research – ANRF funds soo much research – and people see my stickers, button, t-shirt, and/or bracelet all the time. It either starts a conversation about arthritis and why there needs to be more focus on it, or it just gets them thinking.
4) Getting really into World Arthritis Day. Every year on October 12, I get really into it. I wear as much blue as possible, type up my story and send it to the various forums I’m a part of, and share facts about arthritis on various social media sites. I also usually am able to convince people to wear blue as a sign of support, too!
5) When Aureole first came out, $1 for every book sold was donated for arthritis research. Hopefully I’ll start doing this again when I publish again (whenever that is).
So when you see the “arthritis advocate” part of my bio, that’s what it means. Hopefully, my advocacy experience will grow, and I’ll be able to make a difference.
What cause(s) are you partial towards? How do you want to make a difference in this world?