In 2009 I was diagnosed with a form of inflammatory arthritis. When my disease first started, my pain was manageable but then other symptoms started that went beyond just the pain. I not only had pain with my arthritis but I also had fatigue. Fatigue hit me the hardest and had a big impact on many different aspects of my life. The fatigue hindered me from being able to do things I love like cooking or baking, and going to races with my husband. I didn’t have the energy to go shopping or even spend time with my friends. It turns out there are a number of different symptoms affecting people with inflammatory arthritis that are still being discovered. Patients are beginning to tell their rheumatologists what symptoms they feel are important for them to know about. There is still a lot to discover when it comes to inflammatory arthritis, from the patient perspective, and from the doctor’s perspective. Along with learning about new symptoms that patients find important, doctors are also looking for the best treatment plans and medications to give their patients the best quality of life. The best way to find new medication options and improving overall health related quality of life for patients is through research.
On a personal note, because my fatigue due to my inflammatory arthritis was affecting me so much, I started on a new medication. My fatigue has improved tremendously, and I thank God every day for the people that put their time and energy into research. Without research, I’m not sure this drug that has helped me so much would have been created.
Sometimes, I think people don’t see arthritis as a disease that can really affect someone’s well-being. For that reason, I think sometimes it’s looked over as a disease that needs funding for research. That however, is not the case. Arthritis affects over 50 million adults in the United States alone. Because inflammatory arthritis has affected me first hand, and arthritis affects millions of others, I just figured there has to be something I can do.
My husband John Gaydosh is a professional part time NHRA pro stock driver and we are in the public eye with the racing community. I got an idea that maybe through our racing tours we could raise awareness for arthritis research.
Last year we bought a new Chevy Camaro after a long battle of selling the old car (a Pontiac GXP) and trying to qualify at numerous races. Because we have a new car, our old race shirts were not going to work for the new racing season. Someone was willing to sponsor our new race shirts, but I had to do something with the older race shirts. I decided to take John’s racing shirt that we weren’t able to use for the next season and raffle it off on Facebook to raise money for arthritis research. I took the money from the raffle and donated it to The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center research.
The raffle only ran for a couple of months and the winning ticket was pulled in Norwalk, OH at the NHRA event. We were able to raise $1,020.00 to give to The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center research.
This season I plan to do more in raising funds and promoting awareness for arthritis research. Gaydosh Performance is doing this out of our own hearts and personal reasons. We are not being sponsored and not receiving any money out of this, anything that we raise is being donated to research for arthritis. I would just like people to know that this is a serious disease and the research does need funding to continue. So please donate what you can.