Bionic Mom Spreads Hope & Awareness Through Blogging

Bionic Mom Spreads Hope & Awareness Through Blogging

Julie’s nickname, Bionic Mom, is no exaggeration. She’s had nearly every joint in her body replaced due to the permanent damage caused by her lifelong battle with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and other related diseases. However, Julie remains just as resilient as her nickname suggests. She’s learned to find the silver lining in her health trials through blogging on her website, which she affectionately named, Bionic Mom. Through her platform Julie spreads hope, awareness, and positivity to the rheumatoid arthritis and JRA communities by sharing her uplifting outlook on life despite her serious diseases. Julie, now 33 years old, also uses her blog to share tips and tricks she’s picked up over the years to help manage her arthritis.

Julie’s battle with arthritis began when she was only 18 months old. As an infant, her rheumatologist diagnosed her with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Growing up, her health only worsened as she developed early-onset osteoporosis at the age of four. Unfortunately, the wide variety of effective rheumatoid arthritis medications available today were not available when Julie was first diagnosed. She was left with few options and resorted to managing her condition through physical and occupational therapy.

Without medications to stop the progression of the disease, Julie sustained serious, permanent joint damage throughout her entire body. She developed osteoarthritis by the age of 28 and fibromyalgia at age 31. Soon after, she began meeting with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss joint replacement surgery. To Julie’s horror, she discovered that nearly all of her joints required full joint replacement surgeries.

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After years of grueling surgeries and a very long recovery process, Julie is fortunate to report that she is currently in remission. She credits her operations in addition to diet and lifestyle changes with enabling her to reach a much healthier state.

However, her health struggles are far from over. In fact, one of Julie’s surgeries caused a serious back problem that left her confined to her couch for almost a year. Wanting to find meaning and purpose in her life, she started her blog, Bionic Mom, in 2012 with the inspiring headline, “JRA took my joints but not my attitude.” Her posts generally feature her personal experiences with managing her JRA, as well as advice for her followers that may be in need of encouragement.

Julie went further than just using her personal blog as a platform; she spoke up and shared her incredible story of perseverance with several media outlets. She dreams of eventually sharing her story on national television one day. She has found that by sharing her story she has formed a tight-knit circle of friends that are not only inspired by her words, but that also provide support to her in return.

“I started a blog so I could help others with this horrible disease,” she said. “As it turned out, the blog actually helped me at the same time. I love my readers and friends I’ve made.”

She is currently working on a memoir that will encompass all of the lessons she learned over the nearly 33 years of having arthritis, and will reveal how she stayed positive amidst her challenging battles. Even though Julie is human and sometimes feels down about her disease, she refuses to let the arthritis break her morale. She knows that having healthy distractions and a sense of humor are a person’s most powerful weapons in their arsenal for life.

“It’s okay to have moments of feeling sorry for yourself,” Julie said, “because it happens to us all. But stay positive, be as active as possible, and keep your joints moving to help with mobility, range of motion and preventing joint deformities.”

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Along with spreading encouragement and advice, Julie also hopes to spread awareness about arthritis. She believes that the more people that know about the difficulties of living with the condition, the more funding that arthritis-related research studies will receive, such as the arthritis research currently in progress at ANRF.

“I’d love to see more people learning about arthritis, and hopefully with enough funding we can find new treatments and ultimately find a cure,” said Julie.

Julie’s joints may have been replaced, but her heart remains intact. No amount of surgery could ever remove her passion for helping other patients stay positive. Between blogging and advocating for arthritis patients, Julie’s bionic body is in constant motion as she hopes to reach as large of an audience as possible with her story.

“I want to raise awareness to this world, offer advice, and help others through sharing my story. I encourage them to think positively, stay active, and never give up on finding the best treatment plan. And as for me, I try to live life the best that I can because I never know when something else might come my way.”

You can keep up with Julie on her blog – BionicMom.com

How do you feel about blogging about your journey with arthritis? Have you caught Julie’s infectious positivity? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!


Arthritis-Research-Foundation-footer Do you have an arthritis awareness story to share? We share your arthritis stories in an effort to make a difference by giving arthritis patients a voice, raising arthritis awareness and raising awareness about the need for more funds for research. Awareness of arthritis and the need for research are key components to the quest to finding a cure for arthritis. Please consider making a donation today in support of this critical research. To share your arthritis story, contact us.
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. There are several ways to support research through the ANRF. Find out more and donate today.

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