Saturday, February 16th meeting has been POSTPONED due to weather! There will be an online chat with the group taking place, please email leaders for details.
New in person meeting date:
Saturday, February 23, 2019 9:30-11:00 am
Logan University1851 Schoettler Rd.Chesterfield, Mo 63017
We are meeting in the "idea room" in the library.
It's in the main building. Connected to it is the Montgomery Health Center.
Reach out to St. Louis group leaders:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone (call/text): 314-200-5810
If you are in the St. Louis area please join our St. Louis Support Group Facebook page to connect with other Spondylitis folks in the area: Spondylitis Association of America: St. Louis
Group Co-Leader: Ginny Hanley-Antonacci (314) 537-6234 email@example.com
Group Co-Leader:Jed Finley (314) firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Co-Leader: Kristen Ray (314) 200-5810 email@example.com
Ginny Hanley-Antonacci proudly joined the SAA on September 27, 2015 as a member and volunteer support group leader for the Saint Louis Spondylitis Educational Support Group. Ginny has twenty five years of healthcare experience. She has worked as a Medical Billing Specialist for Saint Louis University within Practice Management Operations since 2003. Ginny is completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Saint Louis University in General Studies and planning Graduate Education. She has received the Saint Louis University SLU Star for her community service, customer service, and patient advocacy skills.
Ginny understands the frustrations of those who go under or undiagnosed with medical conditions. It is her goal to provide resources, support, and educational opportunities to the Saint Louis region. Ginny was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2015.
I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis at a young age. I consider myself to be fortunate getting my diagnosis at 12 years of age because it meant I could focus on taking care of myself as I got older. When my back was hurting at age 16, I knew why and I knew I needed to take a break. It also meant that I have had a long time to get used to my lifetime partner, Ankylosing Spondylitis.
For many years I took the "Live well and be well" path thinking as long as I took care of myself I will be fine. A few years ago, I realized AS is too aggressive for being treated with a positive mindset. I have tried various treatments in the forms of NSAIDs and Biologics, and other more natural treatments. I can say without a doubt, I am now quite experienced.
I have always had the desire to help other people like me. I figured why have all this real life experience if I can't use it to help others. In 2007 I founded a Facebook based support group as my launching off point to reaching out to and helping my fellow Spondyloarthritis patients. Years later the group has over 15,000 members and is growing every day. While it is amazing to connect with people all around the world, I wanted to do more to help those in the St. Louis region. This is why I am so excited to be co-leading the St Louis SAA support group.
Those visiting the St Louis group can expect a warm, and inviting environment. I love meeting with fellow patients, getting to know them, and making myself available to support them in any way I can. The meetings will also be informative, productive, and supportive.
I can't wait to meet everyone!
My name is Kristen Ray. I live and work in St Louis, MO with my fiancé and our 2 dogs, Bella and Gus. I have chosen not to have children, so I do a lot of volunteering with children’s groups to fill that void. Three to four years ago I left my career in the medical industry to find a position that was more comfortable for my health. From the twelve to fourteen-hour surgeries, then reporting to clinic for an eight-hour shift of scheduled patients got to be too much, as standing for long periods became more of an issue. After four more years of college, this time for business, I was able to land a position in the insurance industry where I am thriving. This position has also given me the ability to be in and out of the office for multiple doctors’ appointments, or work from home if I am unable to make it out of bed. I am extremely aware of how lucky I am to have found something that not only am I good at, but I thoroughly enjoy and works well with my newfound disabilities.
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