About the Book

Featuring over 100 worldwide, personal stories written by passionate and inspiring individuals living with arthritis, and their supporters; parents, caretakers, and medical professionals. Ranging from heartfelt, hopeful, motivating, and empowering, to heart-wrenchingly eye-opening, these stories shine a light on the realities of everyday life with arthritis and related conditions. Readers will get a first-hand look at the good, the bad, and everything in between, from those who are experts in lived experience and clinical matters. This book is not only a collective effort to raise awareness that arthritis is more than just a disorder that affects the joints and highlights that people of all ages can get arthritis. Most importantly, it explains there are hundreds of different forms of arthritis that impact all areas of life in profound ways,  from physical limitations, mental health, social lives, relationships, faith and spirituality, finances, and work and career life balance.

Special Thanks to

The HealtheVoices Impact Fund that helped bring this project to life. This is a grant program that supports innovative efforts by health advocates to serve and assist patient communities. The Fund was established at the Community Foundation of New Jersey and awards projects that align with the Janssen charitable giving mission, to advance healing for patients.

For any questions or just to say hello.
Speaking requests, media & press:

About the Creator

Effie Koliopoulos knew something was wrong when unrelenting fatigue led to joint pain, muscle aches, and random bruises on her body that disappeared just as quickly as they appeared. Over time she noticed that the same knuckles on each of her hands became slightly enlarged and inflamed, which would later occur in her right wrist, elbow, and knee. Her initial symptoms were brushed off as just ‘growing pains’ and nothing to worry about. After all, why should a young woman with a clean bill of health her whole childhood have any concerns? In 2004, those issues became validated with a diagnosis of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, formally known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It wasn’t until over a decade later, while recovering from a complex total knee replacement surgery at age 29, that the darkness of her difficulties began to slowly lose its power. The time of solitude began a journey of self-discovery, and purposeful action and awakened a spark within to start sharing her story publicly and connect with people living with arthritis. After almost a year-long recovery, Effie launched her blog named Rising Above rheumatoid arthritis. This would be the beginning of many ideas to shine a light on life with arthritis, both independently and collectively. She was awarded the WEGO Health Rookie of the Year Award and is a recipient of the HealtheVoices Impact Fund which has helped fund her recent book project, Keeping It Real with Arthritis: Stories from Around the World. Her advocacy efforts can be found on AiArthritis, Creaky Joints, RheumatoidArthritis.net, NewLifeOutlook, Everyday Health, Healthline, and Good Housekeeping. Aside from everything arthritis and advocacy, she is a passionate storyteller at heart. Effie is currently working on other books and writing projects. She is a graduate of DePaul University and lives in Chicago.

Follow along on her blog www.risingabovera.com