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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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U.S. Pain will hold its third annual Real Hope, Real Heroes Gala: A celebration of real-life heroes on June 2 in Scottsdale, AZ. The goal of the evening is to shed light on the invisibility of pain while also honoring amazing pain warriors. All proceeds go toward U.S. Pain’s programs and services.

This year, the gala will feature participants from the last two editions of the INvisible Project, which highlighted migraine disease and rheumatoid arthritis/rheumatoid disease respectively. The INvisible Project is a print magazine and website that highlights the bravery and perseverance of pain warriors through stories and photos.

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Three of the INvisible Project RA/RD participants, including Leach, at far right.

The INvisible Project: rheumatoid arthritis/rheumatoid disease (RA/RD) edition is now available in print and online.

The publication includes profiles of 10 people living with RA/RD, showing the reality of life with pain, and why people with RA/RD need and deserve more help, treatment options, and research. The goal is to create public awareness and offer hope to other pain warriors living with RA/RD.

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