2020 Year In Review: A Most Important Year For Patient Advocacy

Reflecting on when someone told me no one would care nor listen when I started to speak up about arthritis.  

When I think back to when I first became a patient advocate, before I even knew what the exact name for what I was doing, I was terrified no one would listen, people would assume it’s all in my head or I am faking it. I can remember my roommate at the time when I just sparked interest in advocating arthritis told me no one would listen, no one would care. Those words stuck with me for awhile.  He had some truth to what he said, there are those who seem to get uncomfortable when I speak up about my health struggles and those who look the other way from me when I reveal all that is wrong with me. If I could go back to that time and tell myself that in 2020, one of the most difficult years I managed to thrive with my advocacy in ways I never imagined I don’t know if I would have believed you. 

I realize now a lot of those emotions came from living with an invisible illness and years of people dismissing my health concerns because I was young and looked healthy in their minds. Now I know advocacy has helped heal me somewhat after the grief of being diagnosed with a chronic illness. I have gained confidence, determination, and so much knowledge since I set forth on this journey.  Every opportunity I get to participate as a patient advocate I get to learn so much and grow with my community. 

A review of some of my biggest highlights during a difficult year.

April 2020 marked my one year writing for Creaky Joints but in 2020 I wrote or contributed to a total of 27 posts. I am grateful for the platform to express myself and relay information I learn as an advocate and my rheumatoid arthritis journey to a larger community. 

Features, Nominations and Awards:


TalkOverRA Campaign to help patients have a better conversation with their rheumatologist to achieve their personal goals. 


Research Participation Highlights

Took My Advocacy to a Higher Level

Doctors of BC Shared Care Chronic Pain Committee

I was invited by Pain BC to join a provincial advocacy board for people living with chronic pain. Shared Care Committee invited interested physicians, members of the Divisions of Family Practice as well as representatives from the Ministry of Health and Pain BC, to meet to discuss emerging themes and opportunities to leverage learnings on the subject of Chronic Pain.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis – Patient Engagement Research Ambassador  (CIHR-IMHA-PERA)

PERA represents the patient-oriented research (POR) mandate of CIHR-IMHA, leading efforts to ensure patient oriented research principles are incorporated in relevant IMHA activities and funding opportunities. 


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