26 men and women with RA from across europe honoured as they share their inspirational stories. Actress, artist and activist Jane Seymour will host the first My Day for RA European event in Barcelona, Spain this evening to recognise the daily challenges, hopes and achievements of people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
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RA is a chronic and progressive disease that can cause pain, deformity, disability and loss of independence without effective managementÂ.(1) The My Day for RA event brings together people with RA from all over Europe to share their stories of hope and triumph, and to motivate others with the disease to live life to the fullest.
"I am very proud to be involved in My Day For RA, and am personally inspired by those being honoured today," Jane Seymour says. "Not only does this event recognise and celebrate the achievements of people living with RA, but it encourages everyone with the condition to learn more about their disease and to take an active role in managing their illness."
The My Day for RA event coincides with the recent launch of an online resource - the My Day for RA Action Planner - to help people with RA to understand the impact of their disease, and to develop a straightforward, personalised action plan for the future. The Action Planner is available at http://www.MyDayforRA.com.
RA affects 2.9 million people across Europe.(1) Most people with RA experience pain and fatigue which can impact every aspect of their lives.(2,3) Daily activities that are often taken for granted, such as getting up in the morning, going to work or caring for one's family can become arduous tasks.
Being a progressive disease means that RA can get worse over time, and eventually lead to permanent and irreversible damage to the joints, which could result in deformity and loss of independence over time, as well as a decreased ability to work, potential surgery and higher medical costs. Studies have shown that early and aggressive treatment of RA may successfully stop disease progression, and enable people with RA to continue living a productive lifestyle.
"Many people with RA expend so much effort on day-to-day living, dealing with the pain and fatigue, that they rarely have time to think about the long-term implications of living with RA," says Dr. Alejandro OlivÃ© MarquÃ©s, Rheumatologist, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Barcelona, Spain and speaker at the My Day for RA event.
"Fortunately, there have been significant medical advances in the last few years for people with RA. With the right treatment and support, you may not only be able to control your symptoms, but actually stop the disease from getting worse, allowing patients to continue living active lives and protecting their future."