The Bismarck Support Group

Upcoming Meeting(s)

Saturday, September 16, 2017
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT

Topic: An Overview of Spondyloarthritis

Speaker: Dr. Piyush Poddar, MD

 Symptoms, effective treatments and current research.

Meeting Location

Bismarck Veterans Memorial Library, Room B
515 North 5th Street
Bismarck, ND 58501-4057

Group Leader

Bonnie Smith
(701) 567-2771

About Bonnie Smith, Bismarck's Support Group Leader

To some, North Dakota might be far from the equator, in the middle of nowhere. To others, it is God’s country. But the farther north of the equator, the higher the incidence of diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, so—in theory—many people “up here” must have it, yet the numbers of those diagnosed with spondylitis-related diseases and the public’s awareness of the diseases seems low. Why?

Perhaps it’s a lack of education.

North Dakota’s first Spondylitis Association of America’s (SAA) educational support group hopes to change that.

“I’ve evidently had ankylosing spondylitis for decades, but it was only diagnosed in the last two years,” says Smith. “Knowing that I have AS helps me understand why my fused sacroiliac joints can’t work right. It also helps me understand the flare-ups, the stiffness, the chronic pain and iritis, and the other infections I’ve had through the years.”

Anxious to have someone to talk to about what she was learning, Smith found the Spondylitis Association of America website. Through them, Smith said, “I was put in touch with others who suffer from this under-diagnosed, potentially debilitating disease, and now, want to reach out to others who suffer from forms of spondylitis.”

With that purpose, and with the support of the Spondylitis Association of America, Smith invites anyone (or any family member of anyone) with spondylitis-related diseases who is within driving distance to join the new group as they embark on this journey. “You can also fly in,” says Smith. “We have a wonderful little airport for small planes.”


Want to Start a New Support Group?

Starting a spondylitis support group can be a fulfilling and rewarding challenge. The knowledgeable volunteers who lead SAA-Sponsored Spondylitis Educational Support Groups play a vital role by providing a forum for those with spondylitis to connect and offer support. Interested in taking on this role?

Learn More!

Stay Informed

Contact Us

Spondylitis Association of America

16360 Roscoe Blvd.  Ste. 100
Van Nuys, CA 91406


Toll Free Hotline

(800) 777-8189 U.S. only
or (818) 892-1616

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