Your Stories

This Arthritis Society’s Your Stories blog features stories of those living with arthritis, those pursuing breakthrough research for a cure, and other Canadians touched by a disease. It takes courage and effort to live with chronic pain – see how others have learned to live well with arthritis. If you are interested in posting your own story, please email us at

IMPORTANT: Visitors to our website should not engage in self-diagnosis nor act on information contained on this website without seeking specific advice from their family doctor or specialist. The Arthritis Society reserves the right to use submitted questions for educational and marketing activities in its various communication vehicles. Personal identifiers (such as name and location) will not be used without your consent.
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Speaking up at work and sharing to help others

Riitta Nihtila was nineteen years old when she realized that something wasn't right with her body.  Just shy of her college graduation, Riitta's knees swelled up and became unrecognizable.  Her ankles were next.  After having led a healthy, active, and by all accounts "normal" childhood that saw her into young adulthood, everything changed without warning.  Riitta graduated in a wheelchair. 

Posted: 28-01-2016

Support program for JA Teens

Manitoba teens living with juvenile arthritis (JA) now have their own support group, thanks to volunteers and Division Advisory Board members Kristel Van De Kerckhove and Christina Rambarran.

Posted: 01-01-2016 Manitoba

Meet Donna Wills!

Donna Wills joined the Arthritis Society team on December 14, 2015 as regional manager, Manitoba & Nunavut Division. She leads the Manitoba Office in Winnipeg and has responsibility for managing all aspects of the Division.

Posted: 01-01-2016 Manitoba

Winter weather tips

Winter in Canada makes life a little more challenging – all the more so when you’re living with arthritis. Forecasts are projecting a milder winter than usual for parts of Canada – if true, it’s a boon for those of us living with arthritis. But odds are we’ll all be facing the cold sooner or later, and when we do it may help to keep these tips in mind.

Posted: 01-01-2016

The Language of Labels - Navigating the ins and outs of natural health supplements

Scanning health food store shelves for the latest-and-greatest in health and nutrition supplements is no small task. Today’s market offers an overwhelming amount of choice, and navigating the options can be daunting. With the selection expanding every day, how do you ensure that you make the right choice?

Posted: 01-01-2016

Welcome to 2016!

The past year was a busy one for The Society, as in addition to our day-to-day support for Canadians living with arthritis, we moved forward with several initiatives to help make lives better through our commitments to cure, care and community. Here are just a few highlights:

Posted: 01-01-2016

‘We’ve met fabulous people. We’ve cried with people...’

34-year-old Patricia Ness has a strong will – her days are marked by rheumatoid arthritis pain, but she doesn’t want to be treated differently, not one bit. She holds down a full-time management job, but still finds time to lend a hand at her parents’ Christmas tree farm in Sussex, New Brunswick. 

Posted: 01-01-2016

Honoring Brian Malone

Development Director Brian Malone will retire this month after 4 years as a valued member of The Arthritis Society’s Prairies, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut Division team. Brian has been an asset to the organization and will truly be missed for his substantial and ceaseless efforts championing the mission of The Society.

Posted: 01-01-2016 Alberta

Women of Courage

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians affected by arthritis are women. In this issue of Impact, we feature three Albertan women – three arthritis warriors – who continue to follow their individual passions while working to improve not only their own lives but also those of others battling arthritis: a teen dancer living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), a young mother with osteoarthritis, and a mother fighting psoriatic arthritis alongside a daughter diagnosed with JIA.

Posted: 01-01-2016 Alberta

Jimmy Malyon: Running with ankylosing spondylitis

Runners talk about hitting “the wall” – the point where your stores of energy are depleted and you are struck by sudden fatigue. The ability to persevere through the wall to continue and finish the race is the hallmark of a good distance runner.

Posted: 01-01-2016 Ontario