LOS ANGELES – “In my mom’s case, her level of health went down pretty quickly and we used to say at Christmas, ‘Mom, what do you want for Christmas or your birthday’ and she would say, ‘all I want is a new pair of arms and legs,'” Emmy-award winning journalist and host of “Inside Edition,” Deborah Norville, said.
For ten years, Norville and her sisters became the arms and legs of their mother… struggling to help her deal with the disease that was taking her strength away. She was 20 when her mom passed away from complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
“Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory disease that actually damages the joints and once that joint damage happens it can’t be corrected,” Norville said.
Norville said in the small town where she grew up, there were few answers, little known about treatment options and that’s why she’s so passionate about getting the word out about this disease.
“You can click here and see the whole program,” Norville said as she pointed out a web site called NewWayRA.com.
“This is a web site where anybody who’s dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis can go for information about health, nutrition, exercise, fitness, work relationships and personal relationships and feel better about how to manage their disease,” according to Norville.
The online program is all about community, resources, personal stories and practical tips on living with RA… like what kinds of foods may help you feel better.
Norville said, “there are certain foods that you can consume that have actually been shown to reduce inflammation. Well when you’ve got a disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is chronic inflammation of the joints, to know that you can actually eat blueberries and potentially reduce the painful effects of your disease I want to know that.”
Nearly 1.5 million Americans live with Rheumatoid Arthritis and most women who have it get it in their child-rearing years. Norville hopes New Way RA will not just e a comfort to them, but to their families, knowing there are options, there is hope and they are not alone.
“I wish there had been something like this when my mom was dealing with it. I wish there had been something that was affirmative and positive, that was factual… and you know we are not going to sugarcoat it – it’s not a great disease, if you’ve got to have one, you don’t pick this – but something that left us with that idea that, ‘you know what, we can get through this. These people that I’m seeing on this program have gotten through it, we can too.’ That’s what’s really cool about this,” Norville said.
For details on the New Way RA, click here.
You can also log onto Arthritis Foundation for further resources.