Practicing Gratitude: Our Community Gives Thanks

By Spondylitis Association of America

Monday, December 17, 2018

In November, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, the online Spondylitis Community recognized and thanked individuals who make a positive difference in their lives. Did you take part? You can see a selection of responses we received below and send yours in to to be added to this post. 

From our Twitter Community:

“I am blessed with two -  my wife and Dr. Stanley Cohen, MD. So far, they have bolstered me through my spondylitis journey. My older son has been a great deal of help, too.”
~ @bryan_peeler
“Definitely @Vinny2000Rhythm is the one who takes care of me every time I fall sick. She has been my strength throughout. Shout out to her!”
~ @imperialboy
“My husband. Always there, always supportive. His love for me has not changed regardless of how cranky I get or how dysfunctional my body has become. He’s a keeper.”
~ @Cranky_Bones
“My lovely wife!!! She is always there for me.”
~ @Mustafa37384994
“@mikemanningmn is my amazing husband! He is so supportive of me and my ups and downs with AS. He listens with empathy and love.”
~ @suesmanning

From our Facebook Community:

“Shawna Lee, my best friend for many many years definitely deserves this recognition. She was there for all the hard moments. Whenever I needed anything. She drove from Florida to be with me at doctor appointments, has been my shoulder in lonely nights. Jumped right in with helping me raise awareness. She has been my rock for many many years. No one has ever been more of a constant source of support than her. Joined SAA and is actively involved in my groups.”
~ Summer C.
“Saul Guel, my husband best friend & everything. He's always by my side to Love, Help & Support me through this excruciating disease. He works extra hard to allow me the time I need to rest because I feel so bad. He picks up my meds & makes sure I always have snacks & a bite to eat. He's by my side always when I have major melt downs even if it's only to hug or hold my hand. Sometimes he forces me to put myself together & takes me on outings, which are always just what the doctored ordered. He makes me the best I can be. Without him, I would not exist. I thank the heavens above for his Love. God bless you always baby!”
~ Lupe G.
“My husband, my best friend, and my physical therapist have been there for me since the beginning and I am very grateful for their love and support.”
~ Isabelle D.
“Andre & Angela, Thank you to my family for caring for me through the up's and down's of this disease. You've gone to doctor’s appointments, helped me walk when my knees were too inflamed to carry me, opened endless bottles because my hands were too sore to do it myself, listened and comforted me when I've felt low, cleaned/cooked for me when I've been too fatigued to get off the couch…the list is endless. I want you both to know how grateful I am to have you. I love you guys so much!!”
~ Fiona C.
“My 11-year-old daughter Sienna has made my AS way more bearable! She understands my limitations and tries to help when needed. But above all else she makes me feel better about life! She keeps me going, makes me laugh and offers unconditional love without knowing that's what she is doing. I am about to cry thinking about all the ways her presence makes me feel motivated to push through all the pain and be a good mom! And feel happiness and normalcy in everyday life, something those who suffer from a chronic illness know can be difficult. I love you Sienna! Thank you SO SO much.”
~ Kelly B.
“It takes a caring team, who communicates with one another, to effectively treat chronic illnesses. I'm beyond grateful to Dr. Mary Hagerty, Arthritis Specialists of Winchester PC, Dr. Gardiner (retired) / Dr. Snow, Winchester Gastroenterology, Dr. Twigg-Charles-Bayliss, Dr. Hanson, Dr. Hahn & Staff at Advanced Implant and Periodontal Specialists, Dr. Christine Feathers, Primary Care Associates of Hagerstown, LLC, Jeff & Staff at Muscular Skeletal Therapies, Inc. & Reed's Pharmacy Spring Mills, WV. Last, but not least, my close circle of friends, family and co-workers are a Godsend as well!"
~ Robbie S.
“My friend Georgia Dunich Nielsen has gone above and beyond in supporting me in my journey with ankylosing spondylitis. She prays with and for me, she takes me to infusion treatments. She has been there for many ER visits and Dr. appointments. I love and appreciate all she does for me.”
~ Christensen L.

From our Instagram Community:

“@siwomyelkreyol you know I had to jump on the opportunity to sing you praises. My AS presented itself for the first time a week after I proposed to you, which terrified me because I feared you wouldn’t be able to handle life with an incurable partner. You were my eyes when I couldn’t see, when I couldn’t walk you carried me, you never let me give up and you never even flinched at the challenges we faced. I can’t even put it into words how grateful I am to have you. We know from experience that life only gets harder and there are always unforeseen pitfalls ahead, you give me the courage to face this disease and all the challenges that come with it. THANK YOU!”
~ morganzwerl
“Dr. Ana luiza Calich from the Hospital of Sírio Libanês - São Paulo, Brazil. She is my rheumatologist and helped me during the darkest days. Now I am living in USA and I’m almost in remission. I think here the SAA is a gold in helping. Thank you for this important association.”
~ valdi_alfonso
“My husband Erik! He believed me that my pain was real for the 7 years it took me to be diagnosed. He supports me and helps me more than words can describe. I know my disease affects him more than he shows. He also educates others about my condition and defends me. I couldn’t do this without him. I love my rock, my husband!”
~ michellevannus
“All of these people have been instrumental in my survival. THANK YOU is not close to enough to describe the gratitude I have for them. But, thank you nonetheless @sherivanr @charleyvanrysselberghe @jordan_pierre23 @tayovangnarly @rockhemlock @molly.oshin @threetimesalady and of course @ddbjork1.”
~ Kaili3000

You can take part in this gratitude campaign by emailing us a brief note at, with the subject line, “Practicing Gratitude.” We will add your comments to this post.


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