By Angelica “Heidi” Brehm

Before my migraine disease caused me daily pain and disability, I was an elementary school teacher. I intentionally taught my students about people who shared their backgrounds, challenges, and differences who managed to dream big and accomplish amazing things. I integrated these role models throughout my curriculum because I believed it would increase my students’ success. So why did it take me so long to search for role models for myself? Why didn’t I seek out examples of people with migraine, chronic pain, or other life-altering challenges who lived successful lives? Maybe it’s because it was hard to believe that something so basic could have such a powerful effect on my own success.

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By Kelly O’Neill Young

When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), I had no idea what it meant. Not only was I unaware of what symptoms to expect, I did not know exactly what the disease was. My grandfather had lived with the disease, and died with it. But the only things I remembered were his bent fingers and watching him push with the back of his hands to stand up. Why did he do that and what was wrong with his hands?

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