It’s time to walk, I mean TALK…

How many times have I donated to charity walks? About 500 in the past few years, I would guess.  I have a hard time walking myself, so I always feel the need to support others who can do so.  As the cofounder of a non-profit (International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis), we’ve often talked about getting a charity walk together, but our members and volunteers are global, so location was an issue.  Our innovative thinker/CEO Tiffany came up with a brilliant idea.  Since so many patients with autoimmune and auto inflammatory arthritis have a hard time walking, lets change the narrative and have a charity TALK.  “The “Talk” to Impact AiArthritis aims to jump start the conversations that will drive IFAA’s future work and to begin raising the funds necessary to mobilize 1,000 new voices in 2019. Every week will focus on a different theme, each with various breakout topics.” Topics during the month-long event include:

(Week 1: 12/2-7): Awareness & CommunicationThis week we will discuss disease misunderstandings, communication between patients and others in their lives, OA vs AiArthritis, and limitations in the workplace/home.

(Week 2: 12/8-14): Detection & Diagnosis:  Let’s talk about issues surrounding delay in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, re-diagnosis, atypical disease, and undifferentiated disease.

(Week 3: 12/15-21): Hot Topics: Hot topics this week will include Pain, Opioids, Medical Marijuana/CBD,  and Clean Eating/Diet.

(Week 4: 12/22-28):  Innovative Advancements: Join IFAA to see how we do online brainstorming sessions to identify & solve the most pressing community issues! Topics include precision medicine, clinical trial participation, and access to treatment.

(The Final Stretch: 12/29-31):  Vocal Impact in 2019! Join IFAA as we introduce our NEW AiArthritis Voices site, Systemically Connected Podcast, and other mission work for 2019!

Who should participate? Patients, caregivers, loved ones, friends, family and co-workers. Basically anyone living with or knowing a person who lives with autoimmune or auto inflammatory arthritis.

How do you participate?  Either join the conversation on IFAA‘s Facebook and Twitter pages (click on bolded words to link to our sites).

Those with scheduling conflicts or who are flaring, so unable to join discussions in real time? No problem! Just REGISTER and receive weekly event updates and links to join existing discussions. Then join any time at your convenience!

Stop by our pages and join the discussion today!



I can’t wait to hear your voices all month long!  See you there!



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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

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