The Austin Support Group

Upcoming Meeting(s)

Meeting on Monday, February 11th has been CANCELLED! Austin leader will reschedule to a later date, sorry for the late notice. 

Topic: Round Table Discussions

Meeting Location

S. Austin Church
6711 Manchaca Road
Austin, TX 78745


Group Leader

Allie Gillard
(512) 696-5964

About Allie Gillard, Austin's Support Group Leader

I am Allie Gillard, a 44 year old mother of three smart and gorgeous grown girls, and ‘Grams’ to a happy baby boy.  I was a phlebotomist for 11 years, but three years after being diagnosed with AS I had to quit due to excruciating pain when bending over to draw blood.  I am currently a Lab Assistant at a national laboratory here in Austin, but will be making a lateral move to Customer Service mid-December.

I was first diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia in May 2013, after a long journey and a couple of doctors.  I was working in a clinic and went to the doctors there several times, complaining about various pains in my back, knees, elbows and shoulders.  Instead of sending me to a rheumatologist, they called me a drug seeker and sent me on my way.  I immediately switched my GP and he sent me to my first rheumatologist who did some blood work, then an MRI to diagnose me with AS.  I have since been on Remicade, which controls about 85% of my pain.  It took a lot of trial and error to get here, but I am back to being able to work and function.

In my free time, I like to hike the Greenbelt with my husband and our dog, go camping or anything that involves nature.  To better manage my pain, I do yoga several times a week and take our dog for walks at Red Bud.  I have found in the last four years that I feel better if I keep moving.  I try and maintain a positive attitude about this condition, and am looking forward to deepening my understanding of it as time progresses.

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