Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Fellowship Of Arthritis Sufferers..

This year RA(rheumatoid arthritis) National Day was celebrated in Penang. Arthritis Foundation Malaysia(AFM) organised a trip for some 30 plus of its members from Kuala Lumpur to join Penangites in the celebration.

On the evening before the RA Day, I met with this group of arthritis sufferers for the first time in a gathering to share our stories as an arthritis sufferer. Meeting these lovely people of our own kind in sufferings and deformities was really a great and heart warming moment. Hearing stories of their sweet and bitter moments, courage and determination in handling pain, their light hearted humour of their adversities they face in their lives really bring us closer together.

I could remember the lovable and chubby Annie Hay with both knees having gone through knee replacement surgery with her lively humour and walking like a duck. The cheeky Mahendran, a psoriasis arthritis sufferer told about his stories of sitting alone in a packed bus even though his disease is not contagious. Our courageous businesswoman or bionic woman who had the most joint replacement in the group, Ding Mee Hong, with 2 knees, 2 hips and finger joints surgery. She is now the Chairperson of the RA support group trying to bring awareness and educating those ignorant of this destructive disease as well as bringing together RA sufferers. A skeptical young Siti who walks with a limp was given some advice and assurance by the group of the importance and benefits of early treatment and surgery.

Most arthritis sufferers shy away from telling about their pain for the reason that most non sufferers would not understand their pain and with a gathering like this we are able to express ourselves better besides educating and comforting each other to a better lifestyle. As for that matter I would really like to see more of these fellowship among arthritis sufferers through a support group in Penang if possible. Those who are interested in joining a support group which I will be gathering can leave a note for me in my message box here. Here are some pics of our gathering to share.....



Annie Hay....the MC of the evening.......




Ding Mee Hong sharing her stories...........




Siti is all ears...............



Pat and Mee Hong listening earnestly to a speaker.....



L to R...Teon, Esther, Steven and Lucie, in concentration....


A member speaking out.........

8 comments:

U.Lee said...

Hello Jasmine, its sad to see so many good people suffer from this ailment. Even here in Canada or Toronto, we read of it fairly often.
Science still cannot find the actual cause and cures for it too.
Looking at your various photographs, most in their 30's to 50's too.
I can imagine the pain, the suffering you experience often as joint pains can be stressing too.
I guess meetings like this of peoples telling their experiences helps a lot.
I read in China millions suffer from this too.
Anyway, you stay easy and keep blogging. Lee.

Johnny Ong said...

i have a fren who's suffering this since his early 30s. good to have such support grp

JO-N said...

Jasmine, it's great that there is a support group like this and I'm sure many could benefit from this.

Sweet Jasmine said...

Hi Lee,Thanks for your warm thoughts. All over the world many are suffering in silence due to ignorance and lack of awareness of new treatments to this destructive disease. Through support groups and public forums like this it is a great step towards knowlege and better health care for all concern.
You have a nice day.

Sweet Jasmine said...

johnny ong - hi johhny, you can help yr friend by asking him to join this support group or AFM and if any doubt or question can request me for help. Thks.

Sweet Jasmine said...

j0-n - Many have benefited from joining this support group and AFM has been helping out in terms of giving public forums and cash for those poor victims unable to go for surgery.

singairishgirl said...

Hey Jas, I've not heard of such a group in Singapore. Do you know?

Sweet Jasmine said...

singairishgirl - Hi, you could start the ball rolling by forming a group like this and maybe we could get together in Singapore if there is a group like this.