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2019 Scholarship Program

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of our fifth annual RPF Scholarship Program, designed to support students affected by rheumatoid disease in their higher education pursuits. This year’s program will offer five $1,000 scholarships. Rheumatoid disease can have a heavy impact on one’s life in more ways than one, and we […]

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of our fifth annual RPF Scholarship Program, designed to support students affected by rheumatoid disease in their higher education pursuits. This year's program will offer five $1,000 scholarships.

Rheumatoid disease can have a heavy impact on one's life in more ways than one, and we recognize the financial strain it often places on families. We also recognize that many people find that they cannot continue in their same line of work if they have persistent and progressive disease, and may need to change careers and get additional education.

It is for these reasons that we want to offer a way to support students and help to ease the financial burden of schooling. Our scholarship program is open to students of any age that are enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution -- college, university or trade school -- in the United States. Applicants must either have a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis (also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) -- or have a parent diagnosed with the disease.

Applicants will be asked to complete an application form and submit an essay in response to several prompts. All essays will be scored by a panel of judges and the five highest scorers will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

For more information about the RPF Scholarship Program and to download an application form, please click here.

RPF would like to thank this year's Scholarship Program sponsor, Myriad Autoimmune.

Myriad Autoimmune is passionate about impacting patient lives for the better. We are committed to providing actionable information with our molecular blood test, Vectra, to guide medical management decisions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and improve patient outcomes. Vectra is a validated objective measure that combines 12 biomarkers, age, gender and adiposity to provide a personalized score of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. For more information on Vectra, please visit: www.vectrada.com.

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Judy’s Story

By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page. Tell us a little about yourself and your family — where you’re from, what you […]

By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you're interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family -- where you're from, what you do, what your interests are, etc.

I'm a retired Foundation Phase teacher from Jeffreys Bay South Africa. I live with my husband and our 2 sons on our family farm. I'm an avid walker and swimmer and have many creative hobbies, all involving these precious hands of mine.

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The Importance of Early RA Diagnosis

By Kelly O’Neill Young, RPF Founder & President I’ve been a passionate advocate of early RA diagnosis for over a decade. One of the first articles I wrote for a medical website urged doctors to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA) / rheumatoid disease (RD) earlier by looking outside of the proverbial box of arthritis in the hands. Why was I so convinced […]

By Kelly O'Neill Young, RPF Founder & President

I’ve been a passionate advocate of early RA diagnosis for over a decade. One of the first articles I wrote for a medical website urged doctors to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA) / rheumatoid disease (RD) earlier by looking outside of the proverbial box of arthritis in the hands. Why was I so convinced about the importance of early RA diagnosis?

As we mark the 7th Rheumatoid Awareness Day, February 2, it’s important to remember why early diagnosis is key to the mission of RPF—improving the lives of  (PRD) living with RD. That’s why RPF is excited to partner with imaware™, a new at-home test for RA.

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Savannah’s Story

By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page. Tell us a little about yourself and your family — where you’re from, what you […]

By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you're interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family -- where you're from, what you do, what your interests are, etc.

I was born and raised here in the beautiful state of Texas! My interests include designing clothes and putting together funky outfits. I also love playing tennis with my friends to keep myself active and fun.

When were you diagnosed with RA/Rheumatoid Disease?

I was diagnosed at age 8.

What was your first symptom?

I woke up one morning paralyzed from my hips down. I could not move one bone whatsoever and had to be rushed to the nearest doctor.

What is the biggest way rheumatoid disease has affected your life?

Although my arthritis is challenging, it has created some beautiful achievements to me. I serve as a role model for girls in my school who also deal with autoimmune diseases. We meet with one another to uplift each up other that are battling a similar battle, it is a beautiful thing. The most challenging part of having my Rheumatoid Arthritis is getting bullied in school. This past December I was teased in front of class about how my JRA is fake and my pain is all for attention. The girls who said this in front of the class will never have to walk a day in my shoes or know what it feels like to sit hooked up to a machine receiving medicine. Although the bullying part absolutely hurt me into pieces, I had to remind myself that I am loved by my family and friends and people have a mean heart for no reason.

What has been your experience with treatments for rheumatoid disease?

My first medicine was Methotrexate, which only helped for a couple of years. My second and current treatment I have been on for 2 years now is Orencia infusions. This medicine has drastically improved my arthritis, it almost feels as if I am close to remission!

What do you want the public to know about rheumatoid disease?

That I am beautiful. No matter how many times this disease knocks my off my feet, I am a strong beautiful woman and I will not let it rule me!

How have you worked to overcome challenges presented by rheumatoid disease?

Reaching out to my peers when I feel discouraged. I've learned its okay to ask for help or if you need encourgement to get you through the pain.

What have you learned through living with rheumatoid disease?

That you need to take care of your body. What you put into it is what fuels you, make sure you are taking care of yourself and pain or else no one will.

What encouragement or advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed?

Better days are coming. I know it is a scary thing to get diagnosed with but I promise that you are loved and you are so strong, you WILL get through this no matter how severe the pain is.

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Biomarkers in Rheumatoid Disease

By Kathryne Marks Why are biomarkers important? Looking for certain markers in a blood sample is a method that is helpful in the diagnosis many conditions, including Rheumatoid Disease (RD) and other autoimmune diseases. These biological markers—biomarkers— are increasingly helpful as we work to get to earlier and earlier diagnoses in order to hopefully get people treatment […]

By Kathryne Marks

Why are biomarkers important?

Looking for certain markers in a blood sample is a method that is helpful in the diagnosis many conditions, including Rheumatoid Disease (RD) and other autoimmune diseases. These biological markers—biomarkers— are increasingly helpful as we work to get to earlier and earlier diagnoses in order to hopefully get people treatment sooner—even before obvious symptoms—to improve outcomes.

There are a few different markers to know about, the most important of which are antibodies. Antibodies are produced by B cells, one of the most important types of cells of the adaptive immune system. Each B cell produces antibodies that are specific for, or capable of binding to, a particular other molecule. You don’t need to be an immunologist to understand why it is essential to identify these antibodies.

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Natasha’s Story

By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page.

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By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you're interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page. (more…)

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RD Profile: Miranda

By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page. My name is Miranda Johnson and I am from a small town in NC. I live […]

By sharing our own stories, we can offer hope and encouragement for others and let people with Rheumatoid Disease know that they are not alone in this fight. If you're interested in sharing your story, please visit our story page.

My name is Miranda Johnson and I am from a small town in NC. I live with my two children ages 11 and 18 as well as my husband of approximately 19 years who are my support system. 

Although my RA symptoms started when I was around 8-9 years old, I was not properly diagnosed until I was 18 with a seropositive reading. With my early symptoms as a child, doctors would look at me as though I were a monkey in a cage only giving me antibiotics. Once I became older and symptoms progressed I did see physicians taking my disease more seriously. My RA is classified as severe/chronic effecting all joints and some organs. 

The best advice that I could give anyone who is newly diagnosed is not to be scared of the medications available today. RA is a progressive disease that needs a progressive approach. Much joint damage cannot be corrected so the quicker you get yourself into remission , the better. Stay active and positive the best you can. The world does not stop for ourselves having a bad day but if you are then cry, wipe your tears and remember that you are still going and that’s what counts. Any chance you get to advocate for our disease, take it! We need a cure! If a cure isn’t found in your lifetime then advocate that one is found for your children’s lifetime!

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Double Your Dollars with a $10,000 Matching Grant from imaware™

Rheumatoid Awareness Day is just around the corner! To support our efforts to increase awareness and education for rheumatoid disease, imaware™, the first in-home test for RA, is providing a matching grant, matching your donations to RPF dollar for dollar, up to $10,000! The matching grant is opportunity is open from now until February 12, […]

Rheumatoid Awareness Day is just around the corner! To support our efforts to increase awareness and education for rheumatoid disease, imaware™, the first in-home test for RA, is providing a matching grant, matching your donations to RPF dollar for dollar, up to $10,000! The matching grant is opportunity is open from now until February 12, 2019. Thanks to this generous donation, you have the opportunity to double your dollars and double your impact!

RPF is on a mission to improve the lives of people with Rheumatoid Disease. imaware™ wants to help us achieve that goal by offering innovative ways for people to detect RA sooner to get earlier diagnosis and treatment. Join us in funding this important work. Your dollars will support awareness programs, such as Rheumatoid Awareness Day campaigns and billboards with rheumatoid disease public service announcements; it will support educational programs to help people with rheumatoid disease (PRD) learn how to best manage their healthcare; it will support our research efforts as we look into ways to improve patient health outcomes; and it will support all of the other programs that we run on behalf of those fighting this insidious disease.

As a supporter of RPF, you can also help to spread the word and help us take advantage of this great opportunity!

Consider a simple donation of just $19 in honor of Rheumatoid Awareness Day 2019, which will be doubled into $38!

Donate Now

All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law in the United States. For more details, visit our Financial page.

If you would rather donate by sending a paper check, send the check to the address below.

Rheumatoid Patient Foundation
18801 N Dale Mabry Hwy, PMB 25603
Lutz, FL 33548


About imaware™

imaware™ has launched a new at-home health test for rheumatoid arthritis featuring easy to use collection kits and accurate online results. imaware™ is the only at-home test available in the United States, and can provide awareness to RA even before symptoms develop. Learn more by visiting us online at imaware.health -->

Introducing NEW RPF Partner, imaware™, offering the first in-home health test for RA

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is excited to announce a partnership with imaware™, a new at-home health test for rheumatoid arthritis. The imaware™ health test allows people to take their healthcare into their own hands and order a screening test for rheumatoid disease biomarkers, without a doctor or lab visit. Simply order a test online, receive […]

The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is excited to announce a partnership with imaware™, a new at-home health test for rheumatoid arthritis. The imaware™ health test allows people to take their healthcare into their own hands and order a screening test for rheumatoid disease biomarkers, without a doctor or lab visit. Simply order a test online, receive a kit to do a finger prick and collect a small sample of blood, mail the kit back and receive your results within days, in an easy to read and easy to share report.

imaware™ understands the importance of early detection in rheumatoid disease and is working hard to make that easier. The best health outcomes for people with rheumatoid disease (PRD) have been consistently linked to getting early diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, RD can be a tricky illness to diagnose, with symptoms that come and go or that are seemingly unrelated. It takes the average American two years to get diagnosed. By doing an at-home test, you will be able to provide your results to your doctor and more easily advocate for your own healthcare. RPF’s mission is to improve the lives of people with rheumatoid disease, and a big part of that includes finding ways to get PRD diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

The imaware™ test looks for certain antibodies in your blood that may be indicative of Rheumatoid Disease. One of the antibodies the test screens for may even show up in the results 6-12 months before you feel the onset of symptoms. This could be truly life-changing for PRD, allowing them to seek early treatment to hopefully prevent progression of the disease and, hence, damage and disability.

We are looking forward to working with imaware™ to advance earlier diagnosis of RD. imaware™ is committed to RPF’s mission and will be supporting our awareness and education programs so that together we can work toward the day when no one suffers from rheumatoid disease.

To learn more about imaware™ and the at-home RA test, visit their website at: https://imaware.health

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imaware™ Partners with Rheumatoid Patient Foundation to Promote Awareness and Early Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Makers of at-home health test for RA offer a $10,000 matching grant for Rheumatoid Awareness Day Houston, TX – January 29, 2019 – imaware™, an at-home testing platform for chronic illness and disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, designed by healthcare company Microdrop, today announced it has partnered with the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF), working together toward […]

Makers of at-home health test for RA offer a $10,000 matching grant for Rheumatoid Awareness Day

Houston, TX - January 29, 2019imaware™, an at-home testing platform for chronic illness and disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, designed by healthcare company Microdrop, today announced it has partnered with the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF), working together toward earlier diagnoses and improved patient outcomes.  The newly formed partnership of the at-home testing platform and leading patient advocacy organization for people with rheumatoid disease coincides with the arrival of the 7th annual Rheumatoid Awareness Day on February 2. To further support patients and RPF’s mission, imaware™ is sponsoring Rheumatoid Awareness Day by offering a matching grant for all donations to RPF from now through February 12, 2019, up to $10,000 USD. Donations can be made on the RPF website at: http://rheum4us.org/donate

"RPF's mission is to improve the lives of people with rheumatoid disease,” says RPF Founder and President, Kelly O’Neill Young. “With the medications available today, nothing improves outcomes as much as early diagnosis and treatment. The imaware™ test has the potential to help millions of people have more successful treatment and a better life."

“We believe that the imaware™ at-home rheumatoid arthritis test will help reduce the number of undiagnosed people with RA,” said Jani Tuomi, co-founder, imaware. “With a partner like the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, we will be able to better engage with the patient community to educate, screen, and ultimately help patients engage their doctors sooner for diagnosis.”

Rheumatoid arthritis, or rheumatoid disease, is a progressive inflammatory disease causing damage to joint and organ tissues, resulting in severe pain, frequent disability, and increased mortality. Rheumatoid Arthritis Day was established in 2013 by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation as a way to address public lack of understanding of rheumatoid arthritis. The  goal of the partnership is to improve speed-to-diagnosis and treatment to help those impacted by the disease to access treatment faster and improve their health outcomes.

How imaware™ Rheumatoid Arthritis test works:

Three biomarkers commonly associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis are measured: rheumatoid factors (RF) and cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCP) biomarkers. The combination of these biomarkers has been demonstrated to identify the disease in its early development, even before symptoms may show. Available online at imaware.health for $99.00 USD, the test uses a small amount of blood obtained by a finger prick and is collected in a vial. People then mail the sample back in and within five days will receive their confidential test results via a secure portal.  The new imaware™ Rheumatoid Arthritis test expands upon the lineup of Celiac Disease screening and monitoring tests, and is currently available in the United States.

About the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation:
The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with rheumatoid disease. RPF was founded in 2011 to address a significant lack of disease education, comparatively low levels of research funding, and difficulty obtaining adequate treatment. RPF is committed to creating pathways to better clinical care and disease outcomes through education, awareness, and patient-centered research. For more information, visit http://rheum4us.org or follow RPF on Facebook or Twitter.

About imaware™

The imaware™ mission is to provide patients with the tools to drive awareness to chronic illness and empower patients to live a better and healthier life - sooner. Each imaware test is designed and validated alongside world-renowned doctors from the most prestigious medical research facilities including Dr. Timothy Niewold, Director of the NYU Colton Center for Autoimmunity, Dr. Kevin Deane, Endowed Chair for Rheumatology Research, University of Colorado Denver, Dr. Stefano Guandalini of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, and Dr. Margaret Spitz and Dr. Melissa Bondy of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Baylor College of Medicine.
For more information, visit us online at imaware.health

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