I received this email yesterday. While I would never disclose personal information I do want to share the feeling of how great it is when you make a difference in someone’s else’s life and months down the track they contact you to show their gratitude. People never forget how make them feel. Here is part of the mail….

“Hello- I hope that this finds you well. I emailed you a while back. Your response helped me through a tough spot. Your book, your struggle and your strength, are attempting to get me through another. After reading your book I wanted to say thank you for even responding to my email. I keep it still, and on days like today when I’m struggling to walk I read it.  Thanks for sharing your struggles and supporting others , like my self. I hope you are well.  You are truly an amazing person. Just wanted to say thanks.
I responded with a personal reply. This email meant so much to me. :)

The Latest News on Biologics for Kids with RA in Australia

I do not support any particular drug company. However, the need for biologic medicines which are accessible quickly in Australia continues to be something which I will always be passionate about. The following is great news for children with RA in Australia.

This is from one of Australia’s leading paediatric rheumatologists, Dr Jeffrey Chaitow.

About the TGA approval and Dr Chaitow’s comment

  • Children in Australia living with systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA), a rare and aggressive form of arthritis, now have access to an approved biologic treatment following the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) approving Actemra® (tocilizumab) for the treatment of sJIA in patients two years of age and older. This approval for juvenile patients follows its current availability for adults with severe active Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
  • Head of the Department of Rheumatology at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Dr Jeffrey Chaitow, said the decision to approve Actemra® for children with this severe form of juvenile arthritis is very welcome.
  • Dr Chaitow said: “sJIA is a debilitating disease characterised by persistent fevers, swollen and painful joints which significantly impact on a child’s quality of life.  Many have difficulty walking and rely on their parents and carers for help with simple daily tasks. They may experience isolation and loss of self-esteem as their ability to play with friends, attend school and participate in sport is also impacted.”

New Treatment in Australia for kids with rheumatoid arthritis

I am hearing about a newly approved Roche drug for kids with arthritis. Stay tuned…….

Hope is Incurable – Arthritis Support Group – Nov 16

I have booked Cibo on Nov 16 at 6.45 p.m.

The address is 767 2nd Ave at E41st.
Richard Branson says “we don’t celebrate enough’ and I have to agree. So let’s celebrate the holidays, friendship and the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012.
Have a great weekend.

World Arthritis Day OCTOBER 12, 2011

The Arthritis Foundation is joining a global effort on October 12, World Arthritis Day, to increase awareness of the many forms of arthritis.  Policy makers on Capitol Hill will be reminded that “Arthritis is Unacceptable.” World Arthritis Day is part of a global initiative by the United Nations-endorsed Bone and Joint Decade. Arthritis is not an ‘old person’s disease.” There are 100 plus different forms of the illness and for some of us, depending on where you are in the world because lack of access to medications, it can mean chronic pain, debilitation, fatigue, depression and a loss of hope. It is my dream that the world will grow to understand the many forms of this disease better and that there will someday be a cure. I dedicate this post to my friend, my role model and a leader by example
Jeffrey Gottfurcht. The first man in the world to climb Mount Everest with RA. Wear blue today to show your support for World Arthritis Day.

Enemy Within now an ibook

Oooooh I am so excited. My book is now available on the ibookstore. Very cool.

A Brave New World

In my book, ‘Enemy Within – A memoir of strength, determination and acceptance’ I write about 9/11. I called the chapter ‘A Brave New World.’ Ten years ago every New Yorker understood that the world had changed. We all had to be brave and courageous. Some faced the adversity without fear and made the ultimate sacrifice. We will never forget.

I went downtown to Tribeca for dinner with my girlfriend on Friday September 9,2011. V lives around the corner from the ‘World Trade Center’. In my book I  write about spending part of September 11 with V and with Char. While V stood outside her place , almost 10 years after 9/11, choppers circled the sky and beams of light made the almost full moon illuminate even more. The city’s energy was all around us. It felt like fear was in the air.  The atmosphere reminded us both that if we allow ourselves to feel the emotions of 9/11 that the pain is really just below the surface. I was struck by the deep sadness that I still felt.

Yes in many ways we are ‘A Brave New World’ and I am proud of the resilience of New Yorkers, but I also realized today 9/11/11 that we’ll never really be healed. I will never forget the pain.

Then I went to church to pay respect to our fallen heroes and I felt moved to take action again.  We all have to do what we can to make the world a better place. A world with hope, love, peace and understanding.  A world with optimism. A world where neighbors and communities look after each other just like we did after 9/11.

I promise to do my part every day to  make the world a kinder, happier place by reaching out to one person in need, or doing an act of kindness, or caring for nature, or writing a thank you card. My feeling is that if we all do this we truly can make a difference and that our world will be a better place.

Michael J Fox is my hero. Go to

To buy my book copy and paste

Venus William’s Auto Immune Disease is a form of arthritis.

Venus Williams has pulled out of the US Open due to an auto immune disease which is a type of arthritis – Sjogrens Syndrome. Despite her disappointment, pain and fatigue she still had the guts to come out and tell the public. This takes so much courage. Thank you Venus. We are chipping away at the notion that arthritis is not an old person’s disease and your honesty, and the honesty of golfer Phil Mickelson will help us all.Venus Williams: What Is Sjogren\’s Syndrome? – ABC News

Be Kind To Humankind Week Aug 25-31

Today marks the beginning of “Be Kind To Humankind Week.”

Lately, I’ve enjoyed devoting at least one part of my day to reaching out to others, making connections and/or doing a random act of kindness. I’ve just been doing small things like sending thank you cards or dropping off a surprise bunch of flowers to a friend. I’ve always tried to empower the kids I teach with this philosophy. They wholeheartedly embrace the idea and want to take action after they have cultivated an awareness of the importance of random acts of kindness. Kids quickly begin to understand, as I do, that you get back more than you give….Pass it on

For more information

Be Kind To Humankind Week

Hope is Incurable – Arthritis Support Group

Hi Everyone,
I look forward to sharing an evening with you at Cibo restaurant.

Where? 767 2nd Ave between East 42nd and East 41 St in Manhattan.

When? August 24, 2011 at 6.45 p.m.

We’ll share some stories and offer support.
I hope to see you there,

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