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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


Top 40 RA and Chronic Illness Blog Award

Rising Above rheumatoid arthritis was recently named one of the Top 40 RA Blog and Top 100 Chronic Illness Blog for 2018 by Feedspot.

Chronic Illness and Relationships

Dating isn’t easy, especially when chronic illness is thrown into the mix. Just like any relationship there can be challenges along the way. Good communication, trust, understanding and unconditional love, are some of the elements needed for a healthy long-lasting union no matter the circumstances.

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!

Arthritis Warrior Wednesday: Pre-Challenge on Instagram Post

Since the first week of May started mid-week on a Wednesday, I decided to share the main character of my children’s book that I have been working on, for the first Arthritis Warrior Wednesday featured spotlight. 

Seven Go-To Shoes Those Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis Must Know About

I have been reviewing and recommending comfortable, stylish footwear for almost 11 years and I’m excited to share eight of my favorite go-to shoes I’ve owned over the years. You can read more about my journey with rheumatoid arthritis and how I started, BarkingDogShoes.com

5 Things You Should Know About People Who Receive Disability Benefits: A Reminder to Those Who Think I Am Rolling in Dough

The truth is that those of us who are chronically ill, not only fight a battle everyday many don’t understand but we also fight to receive emotional and most of all, financial support and help such as, disability benefits.

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.

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.

#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.

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.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Social Life: How to Cope and Thrive

One thing that we aren’t sent home with though, is a prescription on how to navigate our social life- which is a big part of our mental and emotional health, that can be impacted greatly by illness.

Q & A: Joint Replacement Awareness Day® 

Joint Replacement Awareness Day Live Event April 14, 2018

When I Was Questioned for Using a Disabled Parking Placard

Almost ten years ago, my integrity was questioned regarding my chronic illness and disability for the first time. I was about four years into my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis, and despite the dark cloud that loomed over my head on a daily basis, I felt on top of the world.

Invisible in Chicago: What’s It Like to Live Here with Chronic Illness?

The best thing about Chicago for those living with chronic illness is the quality of medical professionals here. Especially in the integrative, alternative, functional and holistic medicine fields.

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.

MAY RECAP: Walk to Cure Arthritis Event- Team RARA Tribe

  Around this time last month, I decided to participate as a team captain in my first ever Walk to Cure Arthritis (5K Walk Event). I gathered my Arthritis Anchors-  my supporters new and old, raised some funds for a cure, the hard-working researchers and better...

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.

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...

12 Morning Affirmations to Slay Arthritis When it is Getting You Down

Let’s face it, those of us with arthritis, autoimmune arthritis and related conditions do not have it easy. We wake up every morning not knowing what will hurt, what will be inflamed and what will stop us from conquering the day as we would see fit.

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.

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


RARA Home Page

“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




Are you or anyone you know living with rheumatoid arthritis? Join theRAconnection, it’s free!
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