The Arthritis Society To Be Canadian Government Funded
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When was the last time you were in pain? Did the pain go away? Was it fixed with treatment, rest or medication? Did the pain get in your way of working? Daily living? Stop you from activities and hobbies you once loved? Your parenting? Your love life? Have you been promised that pain will never go away? Does the pain cost you thousands of dollars to treat? Was it accompanied by crippling fatigue? Was this pain and fatigue caused by an Autoimmune disease attacking healthy cells in your body, affecting organs such as your lungs, heart and brain? Does the disease come with complications that often lead to severe illnesses, conditions, surgeries, an opioid dependency, permanent disability or in some cases acts as a silent killer.
Do you know what 4.6 million Canadians are suffering from and is the number one cause of disability in Canada, affecting 1 in 5 working age adults? Do you know of it from a stigma behind the disease that puts off diagnoses, treatments, awareness, funding and leaves the those suffering with the monstrous condition in the dark.
My name is Eileen Davidson, I am a 31 year old mother from Vancouver British Columbia. I am one of those Canadians that have been promised that life of pain and fatigue. My 4 year old son Jacob has just entered kindergarten. I am taking the opportunity of having a little more time on my hands to start this petition. Over the past two and a half years I have been a stay at home single mother after saying goodbye to my 9 year long beloved career as an esthetician but not by choice. This chronic and incurable disease placed me on that disability list at the young and usually able age of 29.
I have a disease which is well known, but commonly misunderstood placing an overbearing stigma which can lead to difficulty for the many living with this atrocious debility, including myself. I live with an invisible illness when looking at me I look like a young and vibrant mother, but underneath those looks that can be deceiving I live with an incurable and disabling illness.
My villain is Arthritis. Autoimmune Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis and degenerative Osteoarthritis to be exact. Chances are you've heard of any of these, you may know someone with a form of Arthritis or you yourself may have one of the over 100 types including Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. It wasn't until I was diagnosed did I know that someone my age could get a form of Arthritis as is common among many.
As a Mother and someone with this monstrous disease my heart sank when I found out children as young as an infant can be diagnosed, 3 in 1000 children in Canada. I can't stand the thought of my child or any child experiencing a lifetime of the pain, fatigue and side effects from living with this chronic debilitating illness.
In my time living with Arthritis I have been left with more questions than answers. How do you expose a stigma and change the mind of people who haven't been introduced to the hell of Arthritis. To understand that the disease is much more than just achy joints in the elderly? How do we get better treatment and support for those suffering from the disease? How come I have such a major and common disease, but never see anything for it?
I've been left with so many questions I decided to become an Ambassador with The Arthritis Society and blogger with the purpose: to raise awareness and help for a better future for the lives of those suffering in silence from the caustic impact illness has on one's life. I am asking for help after noticing what the charity and myself as a patient is lacking. With so many other charities out there, how do we get anyone to pick The Arthritis Society for its time in the spotlight? Why is The Arthritis Society, the largest charity for Arthritis in Canada not Government Funded when Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in this country?
I come to you as someone with two forms of this disease. Someone who had my life disrupted, placed on disability, promised a life of pain and fatigue. I am asking you to help me make Arthritis have the moment it needs, for so many people across Canada. Please help me banish the stigma that is debilitating Arthritis and improve treatments, support, research and advocacy. Sign my petition today to get The Arthritis Society funded my the Canadian Government.
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