This is my first post on here and it’s going to be a tough one…I’ll start at the beginning;
I’m 44 years old and in 2006 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, for those who don’t know what it is I’ll explain.
RA, as it’s otherwise known, is a form of arthritis that can attack at any age, it is generally women who suffer from this disease but men are also affected. It affects each and every joint in the body from the largest to the smallest, it also affects the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, eyes and brain. In some cases it can result in double incontinence as it can attack the spine and the subsequent nerves…It causes severe pain as you can imagine, isolation, depression, general fatigue amongst others.
As the heart and other organs are affected the life span of someone with RA can be reduced by up to 10 years. So yes RA can kill.
There are treatments which exist which can reduce the progression of the disease but as yet there is NO CURE. The main treatments are chemotherapy, with all the side effects that they bring, the others also have severe side effects which means taking other medication to combat the side effects of the first, and others for that one and so it goes on…
As yet I am “lucky” in that my RA is still fairly mild, thereby allowing me to be able to move. Although when I am in a flare even walking becomes difficult, opening a door with a key or opening a bottle of water is nigh on impossible for me. But on other days I can do all of this, with more difficulty than a healthy person obviously.
Despite this, and now is the reason I need your help, I have decided to undertake a, some would say, madcap venture to raise money for research into ALL types of arthritis. This I will be doing by climbing Kilimanjaro, from the base of the volcano to the summit which is situated at 5895m!!
I will be raising money for Arthritis Research UK and I need to raise £3400, part of this sum goes to toward the costs and the rest go towards finding ,hopefully, a cure or at least a treatment without side effects which is suitable for all.
I am asking for your help in raising this amount I have a justgiving page set up and also a blog where you can follow my progress. The justgiving page is http://www.justgiving.com/Joanna-Dawson0 and my blog is http://JoannaTreksKilimanjaro.blogspot.com
I thank you for your time and patience and I hope that you are able to donate something. Even your time in organising events, which I know are not easy to do in France!
Thank you once again, best wishes