Wednesday Walker Spotlight – Joe Tidwell

JoeTidwellMarch6Wednesday Walker Spotlight – Joe Tidwell by Kim Anderson


Joe Tidwell started feeling severe back pain when he was 12 or 13 years old. The pain was so intense that he would often stay home from school and lay in bed. The doctors that he sought help from at that time did not think that there was anything wrong with him. By the time he got into high school, the doctors would tell his mother, Cindy, that the pain was “all in Joe’s head” and that he was simply trying to get out of going to school. His mother, being a nurse, knew that his pain was different and continued to look for help.  She was able to find a doctor who believed Joe’s pain and symptoms. He eventually diagnosed Joe with AS at the age of 20.
Joe has been on several different medications in the last 25 years and is currently still taking indomethycin which helps with the pain and stiffness but is starting to bother his stomach lining due to the prolonged use. He takes vicodin for pain relief. He is also taking prednisone to help with swelling in his neck and to lessen the frequency of his migraines along with verapamil. However, the medication that has helped him the most is Remicade. Joe’s neck and part of his upper spine is fused.  He has very limited movement in his neck but the Remicade seemed to provide a little more movement for him in his neck and helped ease the stiffness in other joints as well. After all of these years, he was starting to notice a difference in how he felt but unfortunately due to the cost, he is no longer able to receive the Remicade treatments.
Joe thinks that “Walk Your AS Off” is great because it is introducing others to what AS is and it is getting the word out all over the United States and in many other countries. It is also challenging him to move a little more each day. He is hoping that someday someone will find a cure for AS.

Joe’s favorite activities include fixing up old muscle cars, riding a Harley every now and then, visiting Chicago with his fiancee and spending quality time with his kids and extended family.
I hope this is what you were looking for…if you need anything else, please let me know. I am attaching a photo of Joe and I in the glass room at the top of the Sears tower in Chicago.
Thank you,
Kim Anderson – Team Captain, Team Tidwell
Until next week!
If you would like to be our Wednesday Walker Spotlight or have a team member with an interesting story to tell..
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