After a brief absence, the OR Branch of the Arthritis Foundation returned to the area a few years ago and offers some valuable resources to everyone living with a chronic illness. I wanted to take this opportunity to re-introduce them to you and remind you of some things to consider in your health and wellness management.
Their focus is on living with arthritis, yet their program and services encompass many illnesses. Fortunately, they recognize that sometimes we start out with one condition or disease and end up dealing with additional ones as time (and medications) continue. As those of us with lupus know, we usually do not deal with only one illness or symptom at a time. It is extremely valuable to us who are dealing with the frustrating fluctuations in symptoms and treatments to have a localized resource to draw from – when we need it.
Although there are only three staff members in the Portland office, there are 15 staffers working throughout the Pacific Northwest service area covering the states of Washington, Oregon and Alaska. I have met with Janet Lamb, the Executive Director of the Oregon Branch and was so grateful to learn how committed she was to learn more about lupus. It was wonderful to see an abundance of materials on diseases/conditions, nutrition, exercise, programs and more right there on site and within my own neighborhood. In addition to educational materials, these ladies also offer services, programs and support to anyone seeking information in learning to live with their illnesses successfully.
Their website covers all of their information clearly and I strongly encourage you to consider their:
~ exercise classes open to anyone with chronic illness and not just arthritis or R.A
~ local Rheumatologist listings derived from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
~ local Arthritis Answers Help Line (1-800-542-0295) and speak with a trained volunteer
They also have three walking events to choose from coming up in May in Portland, Salem and Eugene for Arthritis Awareness Month.
To learn more about them, their program or to receive some informational packets, please call them, drop by in-person or visit their website at Arthritis Foundation -Oregon Branch
You’ll be very glad you did.