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Client Spotlight: Spondylitis Association of America

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May is Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month and May 8th is World Ankylosing Spondylitis Day. We are honored to spotlight our client, Spondylitis Association of America, this month!

May 12, 2021 – Spondyloarthritis is the name given to a family of closely related rheumatic diseases that impact more than 3.2 million U.S. adults. Spondyloarthritis is primarily an inflammatory arthritis of the spine, although other joints and organs can become involved as well. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS), non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis are just a few of the diseases that fall under the spondyloarthritis umbrella. Although there are medical and non-medical treatment options available to help people manage their symptoms, there is currently no cure.

Imagine being diagnosed with a painful, incurable disease. Feelings of loss and hopelessness may be triggered. One might feel alone, misunderstood, and depressed. Supportive resources are key for those living with chronic, incurable diseases as they provide a sense of community, understanding, as well as disease education which can empower people to live their lives to the fullest. That is where the Spondylitis Association of America steps in.

Spondylitis Association of America

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Since its founding in 1983, the Spondylitis Association of America has been the leading national nonprofit that provides educational resources, connections, and the critical support that people living with spondyloarthritis need. SAA is committed to increasing awareness of the disease, providing information and support to patients and their families, and funding research to ultimately uncover a cure for the disease. Their mission is to be a “leader in the quest to cure ankylosing spondylitis and related diseases, and to empower those affected to live their lives to the fullest.”

Today, they are fulfilling this mission with a rich variety of support programs that help those affected connect to a community of peers and medical experts who listen and understand, giving them resources to take control of their health. They are recognized as a “Best Charity in America,” won the “Best of Medical Nonprofits Sites” award, and are rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator. Through research, advocacy, educational programs, and a vast network of support groups, the Spondylitis Association of America is helping those diagnosed with spondyloarthritis improve their quality of life.

What is Spondyloarthritis?

As mentioned above, there are several related diseases that fall within the spondyloarthritis umbrella. In this article we will focus on ankylosing spondylitis (AS). AS mainly affects the spine, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness along the vertebrae; other joints may also be involved. Overtime, the joints may fuse together and cause a downward curvature of the spine. AS may also cause chronic pain and inflammation in other areas of the body. For more information, see Ankylosing Spondylitis Overview. Currently, there is no cure for AS, though symptoms can be managed through a treatment regimen that includes regular exercise, stress management, and medications when needed. See Treatment of Spondyloarthritis to learn more.

Get Involved During Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month

The Month of May is Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month, and May 8th is World AS Day. The Spondylitis Association of America has a plethora of resources for raising awareness and learning more about this common, yet relatively unknown group of diseases.

During this year’s Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month, SAA will be focusing on the theme of emotional wellness. They will also continue their advocacy efforts around H.Res.135 to encourage Congress to support the designation of May 2021 as Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month. To learn more about their awareness efforts or to support the advocacy campaign, please visit: https://spondylitis.org/spa-awareness-month-2021/

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