Susan’s journey with arthritis began in 2004, when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), along with an RA related lung condition. Since that time, she has had many ups and downs in her treatment, utilizing a variety of biologics and anti-rheumatic drugs, prednisone and pain medications to manage her disease and allow her a good quality of life. For many years, on and off, she has been able to enjoy an active lifestyle, including horseback riding, hiking, yoga and TaiChi.
She is an advocate of exercise to help reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis, her mantra being “movement is the medicine”. Being able to ride her horse was an important goal early on in her treatment and eventually she was able to resume that activity, although in a more limited way. She continued to ride for 10 years after her diagnosis, until her horse passed from old age in 2014. Early in her journey with RA, her rheumatologist suggested she try Tai Chi; a gentle, “moving meditation”, it works every joint in the body, with low impact stretching.
In 2010, when the Arthritis Foundation created a chapter locally, Susan lept at the opportunity to become a board member. She began public speaking about living with arthritis, teaming up with local doctors to deliver presentations in Monterey and Santa Cruz County.
Today, Susan continues to experience the ups and downs of living with RA, polymyalgia rheumatica, rheumatoid lung and their associated complications. Although she is more limited now in her function than in the past, she continues to serve on the Arthritis Foundation Board as the Live Yes Leader and contribute where she can to educate and support others living with arthritis, as well as to actively advocate and fundraise for research to “find the cure”
Please join or donate to her team, CCSS Jingle Joints.