Rheumatoid Arthritis Sisters | A Joint Battle
“My confidence plummeted in all areas of my life when I had to stop school,” shared Meredith, “but as I came out the other side I decided I needed to change my course and set new goals for myself.”
Beth, too, felt held back by her arthritis, as the strain of raising three children as a full-time mom soon became more than she could bear. However, like Meredith, she was able to acclimate and power through by drawing strength from her past experiences.
“My whole life I am proud to say I have accomplished everything I wanted to despite how I was feeling,” said Beth. “I remember how challenging it was to go through graduate school while working full time, but I did it! Now, I feel how difficult it is to be a stay at home mom with rheumatoid arthritis, but I know I can do it just like I’ve done it before!”
Although each sister desperately wishes that the other didn’t have to go through the pain and suffering of arthritis, they cherish the fact that they are wading through the rough waters together. They agreed that the disease has made them substantially closer to one another and that they value their relationship now more than ever before. They expressed gratitude for always having someone to rely on and confide in, especially when one of them is dealing with severe pain or fatigue.
“It means the world to me to have Beth’s never-ending support,” Meredith said. “I know she will fight this battle with me and never quit.”
When they’re not battling rheumatoid arthritis together, the sisters share the joy of being mothers; Beth has three children and Meredith has one. Though at times they feel guilty that they aren’t able to keep up with the fast pace of their young ones, they found that their children have helped them to stay positive and take their minds off of the challenges of daily life with rheumatoid arthritis.
“My three kids keep me busy and prevent me from feeling sorry for myself,” explained Beth.
Beth and Meredith are acutely aware of just how lucky they are to have a round-the-clock support system in each other. They began sharing their story in hopes of providing others with that same support. Recently, the women were featured on Lubbock’s Fox 34 News, “Sisters Endure Incurable Disease Side-by-Side.” Now, they are sharing their story with the Arthritis National Research Foundation because they want others to know that they are not alone.
Beth and Meredith hope that being vocal about their story will help others fighting rheumatoid arthritis to find the same support that they were fortunate enough to find in each other.
“We want to share our stories to help spread awareness of rheumatoid arthritis to hopefully help someone else battling the same disease,” said Beth. “No one should ever feel alone. “
Who has been your greatest source of support? How are you spreading arthritis awareness like Beth and Meredith? Tell us in the comments below!
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