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Stories of Inspiration

Stories of Inspiration

Audrie Cossar has always been a fighter 

Now 86 years young, Audrie Cossar has been living with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia since she was in her early 30s. A mom with four young children at the time of her diagnosis, Audrie felt like she had to pick and choose what she could do. “I had to pace out the day so I could keep going,” she says. 

Audrie CossarGrowing up fast because of arthritis 

Audrie is no stranger to the challenges of living with arthritis. She was only 3 years old when her mother Jean was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which was referred to as “housemaid’s knee” back then. “My mother’s knees were swollen and she could barely walk,” says Audrie. “I had to help as much as possible.” Audrie remembers helping with the shopping even before she could read — her mother would draw pictures of the stores she wanted Audrie to visit. “Over the years, arthritis hit the rest of her body in different ways and never left her, “says Audrie. “My mother was in pain for all of her life.” 

Three generations of arthritis 

Two of Audrie’s four children have arthritis. Her youngest son has ankylosing spondylitis and her youngest daughter has rheumatoid arthritis. “It has really stopped her in her tracks,” says Audrie. “She had a flourishing cake decorating business, but had to close it down because of arthritis. It became too painful to squeeze the icing bags.” 

Three generations of support 

Audrie and her mom both received support from the Arthritis Society over the years. And Audrie and her daughter have made extensive use of our online resources and webinars, especially during the pandemic. In gratitude for the support she and her family have received, Audrie became an Arthritis Society donor more than 20 years ago. “There are many other families like mine who are impacted by arthritis. I want to help ensure support is always there for them,” she says. Audrie also hopes her donations will help advance research into more effective treatments, so her six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren won’t have to keep fighting the same fight. “We need researchers to keep working on this if there is ever going to be an end to it.