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The Impact of Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness Month

NewApple39-300x249April is Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness Month. By raising awareness, more research can be focused on AS progression, treatment, and potential cures.

One of the reasons why Walk Your AS Off is so important is the awareness it raises for Ankylosing Spondylitis. By raising awareness, there is a potential for more research to be focused on AS progression, treatment, and potential cures. One of the things I struggle with the most is that we are in the year 2015 and yet there are few effective treatments for AS and other diseases like it. Those that are effective come with a laundry list of potentially life-threatening side effects.
One of the things I struggle with the most is that we are in the year 2015 and yet there are few effective treatments for AS and other diseases like it. Those that are effective come with a laundry list of potentially life-threatening side effects.
When my rheumatologist started me on Humira, I was excited for the possibility of finally feeling better. I dreamed of being able to wake up in the morning and immediately get out of bed, on my own. However, after 3 months, my biweekly injections were having little effect. My rheumatologist decided to increase my dose to weekly injections and add Methotrexate to my regimen.
Unfortunately, my insurance company, like many others, only approves Humira for AS as a biweekly injection. It was not possible to increase my dose and have my insurance company still cover the medication. This seemed absurd to me, however, I do understand how expensive these medications are. As frustrated as I was with my insurance company, I was also very grateful to have insurance. I can only imagine what it is like to seek treatment for AS without insurance.
It is my hope that increasing AS awareness through events such as Walk Your AS Off will result in better treatments and better medication coverage from insurance companies. Perhaps one day, AS will be treated with a medication that does not put patients at an increased risk for cancer and infections.
NicoleMaherBioPic_Walk Your AS OffIf everybody told one person in their life about AS, imagine the impact it could have!
Perhaps that person would tell another, and so on. Sharing information about AS on social media sites have the potential to reach a large audience with just one click.
I pledge to inform others about AS; do you?

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