Young Arthritis Network

Sunday, May 22, 2011

RA superhero climbs Everest

Have you heard of Jeffrey Gottfurcht???After reading this you’ll never forget the name. 

On 14th of May 2011 Jeffrey Gottfurcht reached 30,000ft to the TOP OF THE WORLD Mt. Everest but this is not what makes him unique on May 14th he became the first person with Rheumatoid Arthritis to reach the top of Everest.

Diagnosed with RA at the age of 28 his diagnosis didn’t stop him . He become an advocate for people with arthritis furthermore he is the founder of  The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation.

Everest is like the Olympics of climbing, which many sportspeople aspire to reach. An uphill battle & a challenge many will never attempt but not Jeffrey Gottfurcht. He didn’t let RA take him down nor did he give up on something he loved instead this man did the unimaginable he went above and beyond to the top of the world.

The road to Everest is tough it requires many years of training according to Ian Taylor  the youngest Irish person to climb Everest .The statistics are not exactly positive with 1 person in every 10 who make it failing to return. As one moves from base camp 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 oxygen levels decrease and Ian Taylor describes a basic task as difficult a simple walk across the room can take up to 5 minutes (sound familiar??). At altitude our body becomes weaker we are exposed to risks such as acute mountain sickness, pulmonary edema, ataxia, blood clotting and the list goes on so for a person with RA to undertake this challenge in my opinion is nothing short of amazing.

I don’t have to tell anyone that living with arthritis can be a struggle. It’s not easy we’ve all had mornings when our body won’t allow us to leave our bed let alone move an inch so when I heard a guy with RA was going to take on Everest I honestly thought it couldn’t be true. Instead of looking at his disease as barrier he thought of it as a challenge to overcome. The sheer challenge of Everest is unimaginable just think climbing as oxygen levels decrease, the body becomes weaker it slows down but top this with RA challenging is an underestimation.

So his motivation behind this trip a selfless act to make a difference to the lives of children with Juvenile Arthritis by raising awareness of his charity the Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation a make a wish foundation for children with JA.

Some people are born to make a difference & this man is definitely one – a modern day superhero. One man has broken down barriers & given hope to people worldwide with RA . He is an amazing advocate, one which the arthritis community is proud to have.

On a personal note I’ve followed this journey closely & when I found out Jeffrey had reached the top I’ll admit it I cried & cried with happiness. To say it’s touched my life is an understatement it’s done much more than this it’s given me hope that my dreams are achievable now more than ever & if I work hard I’ll achieve them.

Jeffrey from the Young Arthritis Network we salute & thank you ...What an incredible journey.

“There are no borders, no limits and no frontier. Just keep moving, and do exactly what you set out to do.”

      Jeffrey Gottfurcht.

More info on JGCAF

Images are not my own copyright @ Nutrapharma

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Rheumy

This week, I had my visit to the Rheumy for my routine check up as the days approached I began to think of how far I’ve come. 

In the overall scheme of things I’ve done more than I ever thought was possible. Each day I push myself to be the best that I can be. Don’t get me wrong there are certainly times when I throw a total diva strop about having to do those evil injections & about arthritis in general but for the most part my mission is to live life to the full.

So as the appointment date get’s closer I begin to evaluate the past few months. I always write a list of questions that I would like to ask & like most people I glance at the calendar to see how I’ve been feeling.

In my mind I built a big picture of how fantastic I feel &  I’ve even managed to erase the bad days from my mind. Looking at the evidence in front me I had no option but to face up to reality I’ve my fair share of bad days. My mission - to go into my Rheumy with three little words "I’m doing great" but unfortunately that won’t be today.

“We must rediscover the distinction between hope and expectation.”
~Ivan Illich

Heading to the appointment I build myself up I’m not sure what I'm expecting but after my appointment I feel deflated.  In my mind I went thinking as I always do with that expectation that my Rheumy has all the answers including the one whereby I receive the magic potion where I’m free from arthritis. 

No matter how many time’s I’ve seen my rheumy over the years I still leave disappointment and please don’t get me wrong my rheumy is fantastic he’s given me a new lease of life but I always leave feeling deflated.

I ask myself why I fell like this? Is it because for many years I was told I would grow out of JA ?Do I expect too much?Or maybe I forget my rheumy is not god he doesn’t have all the answers or at least the one I’m looking for the big C – Cure .

Am I alone in feeling like this ???