The Orange County Support Group

Upcoming Meeting(s)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Guest Speaker: Dr. Steve Lee

Meeting Location

Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church
26001 Muirlands Blvd.
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Group Leader

Kate Schmitz
(949) 325-4072

About Kate Schmitz, Orange County's Support Group Leader

AS is a unique condition and can be especially hard because when people meet you, they do not have any idea how much pain you are in, or have lived with.  At many times in my life, a sneeze would terrify me because my entire body would seize up.  I don't think I remember any significant portion of my life without back pain.  I know it started at least in high school, and was told I must have hurt it playing volleyball. I used to take 8 Advil a day just to make it through practice.  Something wasn't right.  One day I was injured during a game and could not get up.  I was hospitalized and given a lot of meds, but the pain just continued.  

Fast forward 12 years, finally my diagnoses came just 6 months after I was married.  I was relieved I had an answer to the pain, but at that point it had spread to my back, hips, shoulders, sits bones, just about everything hurt.  I researched AS daily, and tried multiple conventional and natural therapies.  I quit my job.  Several months later, I was pregnant with my first child and had to manage my pregnancy - which was extremely difficult.  I went on to thankfully have 3 healthy miracle babies, and currently manage the stiffness and pain with NSAIDS. I hope to continue to improve my diet, flexibility, and overall positive attitude.  

I think support is vital to success in managing AS, and anticipate this support group will encourage and inspire others living with AS to find more information and tips that work for them, as well as just feel supported emotionally.   

Stay Informed



Visit our careers page for available positions

Contact Us

Spondylitis Association of America

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


Information Requests

(800) 777-8189 U.S. only
or (818) 892-1616
*Please note: This is not a Crisis Hotline. If you are in a life-threatening crisis, please dial 911 for immediate help in the US. Please follow this link for crisis intervention resources.

Give With Confidence

Independent Charities of America