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“On my journey with rheumatoid arthritis, I have realized that it’s not only about fighting the condition. Living with it one day at a time- is what it’s all about. Every day I chose to keep going, rise above, and embrace all the good, the bad, and the ugly of RA.” -Effie



My three-part documentary-style film series for those living with invisible disabilities and illnesses is NOW LIVE on youtube!


Click here to watch

Please share these videos to help raise awareness


My Arthritis Anchors

As promised- here is my personal list of Arthritis Anchors.

If you’re just tuning in you can reference back to my blog post in May about what an arthritis anchor is here and tune into me speaking about it on my YouTube Channel, RA and Myself.

Chronic Readers Club Q & A Interview

Chronic Readers Club was inspired by a combination of things. Since becoming chronically ill, I’ve felt a need to connect with other people who truly understand what my life is like. The idea to send books was inspired by my love of reading, which was instilled in me by my mom. She’s actually a librarian!

My New Attendee Experience at HealtheVoices 19

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the fifth year of #HealtheVoices19 in Dallas, Texas. I left back home to Chicago more inspired and empowered than ever, here are five reasons why.

TheRAconnection.com- Join today, it’s free!

This year I began working with theRAconnection, as a moderator and blogger. If you are living with RA, PsA, OA, Lupus, AS or are a loved one, caretaker, spouse, friend etcetera, of someone you know living with these conditions, then you are in the right place! I have...

How to Access Innovative Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

FindMeCure is an online platform allowing every person struggling with a medical condition to access treatments in development.

The Most Comfortable Gloves for Arthritic Hands During the Winter

With winter in full swing, I wanted to share some gloves that those with arthritis can benefit from. Many are on sale now as the fashion industry gears up to introduce spring merchandise, so grab them while you can.

Who Are Your Arthritis Anchors?

Now you may be thinking to yourself, well what is an arthritis anchor? Those who truly care and support us shine their light and help us navigate the ups and downs life can bring, by walking right beside us. These people are our anchors.

Low-Energy and Low-Key Ways To Raise Arthritis Awareness this May

Chronic illness is in fact very tiresome. Going to a march and holding up signs is a great way to get involved for arthritis causes but not everyone has the time, energy or resources to engage in that. This is why I created a low-key, low-energy guide to raise arthritis awareness from the comfort of your own home.

Arthritis Warrior Wednesday

I was diagnosed in 2012 while I was going for my masters in my mid 40’s. It was very aggressive and my father also had a very aggressive form of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Breaking Free from Chronic Illness

Ways to break free from and cope with the constraints of chronic illness, in order to live your best life.

Arthritis Warrior Wednesday

Hi everyone, I’m RA Guy! I’ve been living with rheumatoid arthritis for almost two decades now, since the age of 29.

5 Pain and Inflammation Relieving Products I like- Issue: # 1

This will be a series of my most liked pain and inflammation relieving products. Here is issue #1.

5 Pain and Inflammation Products Relieving I Like Issue #2

This will be a series of my most liked pain and inflammation relieving products. Here is issue #2.

I’m a Nominee for the 2018 WEGO Health Awards- Here is how you can help!

I am excited to announce that I have been nominated for the WEGO Health Best in Show Blog Award in the 2018 WEGO Health Awards.


I ended up walking out of the office with only a piece of paper in my hand and have made it a point to pay it forward since then. I may not know the woman’s name but this memory will stay with me forever. When have you shined your light on someone and when has someone else done the same for you? 

Arthritis Warrior Wednesday

I was diagnosed with RA in 2012 after childbirth. I’m a full-time working mom in Los Angeles.

#MySymptoms Poem

This week many of us arthritis warriors raised awareness for World Arthritis Day on October 12th by either sharing our stories, statistics, or wearing arthritis gear. I recently shared a poem on The Mighty giving a glimpse into the symptoms I experience while living with rheumatoid arthritis. I am inviting you all to join in on sharing a poem about your symptoms through the #MySymptoms Poetry Link Up.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of a Total Knee Replacement

Growing up I remember doing class assignments that asked us where we envisioned our lives to be in five, ten, twenty years. Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at eighteen and having a total knee replacement at twenty-nine years old, was not on my radar.

Connect2Health Conference and WEGO Health Awards Recap

If you weren’t able to tune into the WEGO Health Award ceremony on the main stage at Connect2Health via Facebook live in Boston last week, you can view some of the award speeches and more here.

Rheuma Tips! Did you know? #17

Rheuma Tips! Did you know? #17

My tip for this month is to find a quiet place and take a moment to write down a list of everything you are grateful for. A friend of mine recently posted that you, “Can’t spell RA without Gratitude.”

read more
Arthritis Thought of the Month: Question #17

Arthritis Thought of the Month: Question #17

Are you grateful that you got sick? This question may seem a bit odd to some. Why on earth would you feel grateful for something like a diagnosis, that turned your life upside down? Those feelings and thoughts are valid. Then there is the other side of the coin, where people have been able to see the blessing and silver lining. It’s normal to one day feel positive and another negative about getting sick. How would you answer this question right now at this point in your life? Let me know in the survey below!

read more
Arthritis Thought of the Month: Question #16

Arthritis Thought of the Month: Question #16

Have you been affected by Step-therapy?

Also known as “fail-first”- a troubling practice employed by a majority of insurers that forces patients to try therapies preferred by the insurance company before their doctor-prescribed medication will be approved, even when doctors are certain the initial therapies won’t be effective.

read more

Keeping it Real With Arthritis Stories

Whether you are living with rheumatoid arthritis or another type of arthritis, we all have a unique story that deserves to be voiced, heard and shared. Equally of importance, is showing an accurate depiction of those living with the disease and providing a real-life glance of who the person istheir interests, passions, hobbies, goals, career, likes, dislikes and so on, behind the veil of arthritis.

Not only can sharing our stories raise awareness but also illuminate our paths for us to see that we are not alone on this journey and have  common experiences with one another.

Rheuma tips! Did you know?

Arthritis Thought of the Month


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“On my journey with rheumatoid arthritis, I have realized that it’s not only about fighting the condition. Living with it one day at a time- is what it’s all about. Every day I chose to keep going, rise above, and embrace all the good, the bad, and the ugly of RA.” -Effie

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Instagram @risingabovera

  • Who else has difficulty opening jars of store bought products such as sauces, pickles, olives etc?⁣ 🙋🏻 Yea, I would say majority of us do especially if arthritis or any injury has affected your hands or upper extremities.⁣
Navigating through the kitchen can be intimidating if you rely on extra help for the simplest of tasks, but one thing I’ve learned from my occupational therapist is that the proper tools can make all the difference. I have an arsenal of items that make it easy for me and I love testing out new kitchen products. ⁣
When the folks at Consumer Convenience Technologies reached out for me to try their #EEASYLid, I jumped at the chance. They really revolutionized the jar opening experience. ⁣
Rather than struggling to twist an airtight lid (um, ouch!), simply press the top button and it comes off super easily! Check my IG stories for a detailed walkthrough of the product. ⁣
Note: As of right now, the lids are only being sold as spaghetti sauce (Darci’s label) in Boyer’s Food Markets starting in January in the Pennsylvania markets. ⁣
However, the plan will be to expand to other markets nationally outside of PA after. More product release details will be coming soon, so be on the lookout on their social media! ⁣(If you’re in the PA area, I recommend you scope these bad boys out).
*This is not a paid promotional post. I’m sharing this because I see it’s value in helping others living with arthritis or just anyone who has trouble opening jars- which is a lot of people. Unless, of course you are the Hulk or something, which is cool too! Enjoy! :)⁣ EEASY Lid is now on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can follow them @EEASYLid. ⁣
Check it out and if any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.⁣
#EEASYLid #CCT #CookingMadeEEASY⁣
#arthritis #rheumatoidarthritis #cooking #kitchen #kitchentools #homeliving #jaropeners #masonjars #occupationaltherapy #tools #protectyourhands 
Hand model credit: my mama ⁣
  • #sundayfunday #chicagobotanicgarden #treefarm #christmastree weekend fun 💃🏻
  • Leaving this decade and going into 2020 like...
#cleanslate #newdecade #newyear2020 #newyearwhodis #chicago #botanicgarden
  • I’ve often heard people say, “Rock bottom teaches you things mountain tops never can.” But I don’t agree, that’s if saying someone’s experience is less than or insignificant if they never were rock bottom...I’ve been on both sides and feel whether rock bottom or mountain tops, it doesn’t matter. Each view offers a perspective and teaches you something valuable the other can’t. ✨
  • ✨RARA Shop Designs Giveaway✨⁣
1. Like ❤️ this photo ⁣
2. Follow me @risingabovera 💁🏻⁣
3. Tag a friend @ in the comments below who has a good sense of humor 🕺🏽😂⁣
4. You and your friend will be in the drawing to win a shirt (you choose the color and size, obvi)⁣
5. You don’t need to be living with arthritis to enter. Anyone is welcome!
6. Winners announced this Thursday, October 24th @ 12 noon central time (via a random name generator which I’ll post in my stories).
7. For those of you who don’t win but are interested in purchasing one, the shirt will be 50% off till November 3rd!⁣
  • I Am Invisible No More: Part 3 is now on YouTube! LINK IN BIO ☝🏻
14 people living with invisible disabilities and/or illnesses from around the nation were asked to share one thing they wished society knew about this topic. Go show these amazing people some love and support ❤️ _____________________________________________________
#invisibledisabilitiesweek #invisibledisabilitiesweek2019 #invisibledisabilities #invisibledisability #invisibleillness #iaminvisiblenomore #patientleaders #advocates #socialactivists #healthactivist #advocacy #wegohealth #themighty #wednesday #wednesdaywisdom #humpday #motivation #realtalk #truth #truthbetold #tbt
  • I AM INVISIBLE NO MORE: PART 2 is now live on YouTube! LINK IN MY BIO☝🏻Check it out
What was the public’s opinion on the topic of invisible disabilities and illnesses? 
We stopped a few people to ask their thoughts and handed out educational brochures with the answers to the questions. This lovely gentleman you see in this picture was nice enough to share his own personal experience living with an invisible disability and being questioned for using an accessible parking spot.
Stay tuned for Part 3 tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it!
#invisibledisabilitiesweek #iaminvisiblenomore #invisibledisability #invisibleillness #brochures #streetinterview #streetinterviews #chicago #chicagoland #usa #world #risingabovera #writer #blogger #youtube #youtubevideos #inspiration #awareness #advocacy #advocacymatters #socialactivism #raisingawareness  #chronicillness
  • I AM INVISIBLE NO MORE: PART 1 is now live!!! Link in my bio ☝🏻
Invisible disabilities and illnesses are REAL, even if you can
  • TGIF Friyay 🎉💋💅🏻 Enjoy the weekend everyone and don’t forget, World Arthritis Day is tomorrow 🌎💪🏻 #goawayarthritis




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