Sunday, September 9, 2007

And now for something completely different...

On Thursday and Friday of this week, yet another of those projects that make me feel that I have the best job in the world. A whole two days spent explaining to interested journalists the real truth behind the little known disease of rheumatoid arthritis.

Fact: it's an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself, destroying and deforming the joints. Fact: it's not just a disease of the elderly but can strike three month old babies - the classic RA sufferer is a woman in her mid-thirties. Fact: it's an irreversible and lifelong condition that can render the sufferer disabled and in constant pain. Fact: it can shatter self esteem, end careers, destroy marriages, tear apart family life. Fact: There are 400,000 sufferers in the UK alone.

So, you may ask, what's the joy there? Where's the fun in talking about that?

The fun is in giving those facts - plus the additional fact that new treatments, practical aids and emotional support can now give an RA sufferer back their life - to dozen of journalists who, at first neutral, then became fascinated, then actively fired-up to cover the condition in health features across a wide range of magazines.

Result - not only a good job well done (by myself, by Sue Oliver the arthritis nurse consultant with whom I was working and by the PR company who hired us). But also a result for the issue of arthritis care.

If you want to know more about rheumatoid arthritis, click here.

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