It is mind blowing how quickly attitudes can change, especially when hope is added to the mix. It was only yesterday that I had finally fought through the writer’s block that had been preventing me from writing my last post about RAD and stem cells. By the time I finally got into the groove of writing, I may have mentioned stem cells to Tanya, but the fact of the matter is that she did not really understand them or how they worked, so if I mentioned them in passing, the brain fog that RAD causes had caused my comments to go unnoticed. It happens.

The thing is, about the time I started writing, Tanya received a letter from her rheumatologist in Indiana. She had not seen him since the middle of 2011 and had postponed scheduled appointments because of her move to CA. The letter contained some very discouraging news. While prior test results were always described as boring, these ones were not. There were signs of a lot of damage and from what was read to me, it sounded like the potential for more was absolute. Tanya was pretty depressed as was I. It is tough hearing what to expect in the forthcoming years to the woman you love. Scary too.

photo of Tanya in Ireland
Tanya having better times in Ireland

Luckily, Tanya is a fighter. She also is excellent at research. Soon after reading the doctor’s report, she started researching what kind of Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease treatments were being used in other countries. Tanya has had an opportunity to travel to several European countries and even got to experience an emergency medical issue I had in Spain. She has no apprehension of going to another country if there is a solution the FDA is withholding from us. In her research she saw mention of stem cells; she had heard them mentioned on the South Park episode we had watched and then she read my last post. Suddenly we were talking about traveling to another country to be treated and possibly cured of her RAD. She suddenly had hope!

The last 24 hours has really been a whirlwind. There is no doubt in my mind that within the next two months we are going to be in a foreign land and Tanya is going to be cured of RAD. We have been discussing many options and what it would be like for her to suddenly be without pain. The photo above is Tanya in Ireland. Today, Tanya can not even hold her Canon T1i with its Sigma lens and Speedlite flash, it weighs too much. As far as her enduring a trans-Atlantic flight for leisurely photography, it simply could not happen. Today we have hope. Let me tell you, it is a pretty wonderful thing.

We are fortunate in that I can come up with the funds to make the trip to Panama, Thailand, Mexico or wherever it is we decide to get her treatment, not everyone has that ability. For sufferers of Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis, there is only one charity that assists RAD/RA patients and is working towards a cure and that is the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. If you are looking to help a charity, perhaps consider helping them. RAD is a terrible disease and we need to keep working for a cure that is available to all.

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