A blog about Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes may seem like an odd combination, but as a person with both conditions, Rick Phillips could not seem to separate the two. After 33 years with diabetes, Rick had figured he might have some insight to share and created his blog hoping to improve the lives of others living with the same conditions.
Knowing quite well the difficulties living with these conditions can bring, Rick blogs about his own experiences and addresses the issues of access within his communities explaining “We see restrictions on technology in the diabetes community and restrictions on access to medication in the RA community.” Rick believes this is his communities’ fight of the future.
And it only empowers the message he sees prevalent across both his communities: that no one should ever be alone in their condition and that it’s always easier with a supporting and caring community.
Luckily, that’s exactly what Rick loves doing- building a community. So realizing that although the RA community is strong, not everyone knows each other, Rick decided to bridge the gap with RABlog Week.
Rick launched the first RABlog Week last year and was very pleased with the results. This year however, he is hoping even more bloggers join this 5 day event to build awareness for the RA community.
The idea of RABlog week actually came from a community of knitters (imagine that?!).The knitters raised awareness of their craft through a fiber-blogging event called Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. Then in 2010, Karen Graffeo brought the concept to the Diabetes community with #DBlog week. Seeing it thrive within the diabetes community, Rick decided to bring it to the RA community just last year, hoping to build the community through words.
What is #RABlog Week
RABlog Week is a 5 day event, Monday September 26th– Friday October 2nd involving as many bloggers as possible. Through RABlog week, Rick hopes to build the social network of Rheumatic bloggers.
Each day highlights a new topic, encouraging bloggers to write about their own experiences and thoughts. If the topic does not resonate with you don’t worry, Rick will be offering 2 wildcard days so there’s no reason not to join in on the fun!
Who Can Join In?
Of course anyone who is personally affected is welcome to join- no need to be a professional blogger. Even anyone who cares for someone with a rheumatic condition or knows someone with a rheumatic condition is welcome to join. “After all,” Rick says, “it is these people who share the journey and assist us in living our lives in the best possible way.”
Topics of #RABlog Week
This is the best part, YOU get to choose! I Prompt selection continues until August 31st so make sure you suggest any topics you may be interested in here. And don’t worry, Rick understands the constraints RA can have on patients, saying “Given sore joints, doctor appointments and treatment complications we need extra time to write all seven blogs” so all topics will be announced in advance.
Sign ups begin shortly after September 1st so make sure to watch the registration page for updates. Rick is hopeful that events like this will only solidify the community, saying, “It takes all of us, but someday we will win our war on RA and Diabetes”. So join the fight, head on over to the RABlog week page and follow Rick for all the latest updates.
Kristen Long is the Health Activist Awards Coordinator at WEGO Health. Her own health experiences have inspired her to empower other patients and encourage the power of patient advocacy. Follow Kristen on Twitter and Facebook.