Here’s the press release from the Arthritis Foundation:
SWANNANOA, NC- Angie Allen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in 2011, and by March 2012 she was on permanent disability causing her to lose her job. This was a life traumatic discovery for Angie and she knew she had to do something to fight back. “I got mad about all of this and in losing my job I decided to advocate for me and use my big ole southern mouth to get the word out” said Allen. Angie was one of the nine chosen advocates from the Mid Atlantic Region to attend the annual Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill. The Advocacy Summit is an event that brings people living with and affected by arthritis from every corner of the United States to convene in Washington, D.C. There the advocates learn how to advocate and build a continuing relationship with their Members of Congress. Angela was able to meet with Patrick T. McHenry, Republican, who is located in the 10th congressional district of North Carolina. “I would not have been able to attend the Advocacy Summit without the financial help from the Arthritis Foundation. I am very appreciative for the financial help, and I am working hard as an ambassador to achieve platinum status so I can attend next year’s Summit” said Allen.
Angie’s arthritis seems to keep getting worse, but when she saw all of the children affected by arthritis at the Summit it made her have a different outlook on her disease. “When I got to the hotel and saw the children affected by arthritis, my heart sank. To see how strong the children were was amazing. To see the kids made me stronger mentally” Allen states. Arthritis changed Angie’s mental state significantly and the Summit helped her with this. “Depression, anxiety are under estimated by a lot of doctors. I felt that the summit helped us share our stories directly with the people with the ability to actually help us. I hope we were heard” said Allen.
For more information on how to become an e-advocate or an ambassador for arthritis contact Cecil Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-787-5328. For more information on the 2014 Advocacy Summit go to: http://www.arthritis.org/advocacy/advocate-news/advocacy-summit/
Arthritis is unacceptable. It can be a crippling and life changing disease that can strike at any age. The prevalence of arthritis or chronic joint symptoms is surging and affecting more than 50 million Americans. In the Mid Atlantic Region, 5.7 million people are affected by doctor diagnosed arthritis and nearly 1.8 million are North Carolina residents; with 8,400 being children.
About the Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of more than 50 million Americans living with Arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has many service points, including those located in the Mid Atlantic Region: Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $400 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.