When Barbara first started experiencing pain in her knees, she put it down to just getting older. She was in her sixties and led an active life, enjoying walking and working on her garden. Perhaps a few aches were no more than she should expect.
But the pain didn’t stop. It got worse. Soon Barbara found herself in such pain that the only way she could climb the stairs was to pull herself up on hands and knees.
Eventually the doctor confirmed her suspicions. She had arthritis – to be exact, osteoarthritis, the most common type, affecting eight million people in the UK. And the bad news is, there is still no cure.
Is arthritis ‘just a bit of pain’? Try asking Barbara today
It’s more than ten years since her diagnosis, and Barbara hasn’t had a day without pain. Now she can’t have a bath without assistance, and gardening leaves her racked with pain. ‘I used to be able to run up the garden path,’ she remembers, ‘but now, even using a walking stick, I can only just manage to get to the greenhouse.’
Arthritis is so much more than a twinge, a few aches, ‘a bit of a pain’. Slowly it steals life’s fundamentals – your ability to work, to care for your family, to maintain loving relations with your partner, to live independently, or simply to do the things you love.
There’s new hope for people like Barbara: Versus Arthritis
This year, two of the UK’s largest arthritis charities merged to become Versus Arthritis, joining award-winning care with outstanding breakthroughs in research. It has brought fresh hope to the ten million people living with arthritis in the UK today, and for all of us who could face it in future.
‘Arthritis is viewed as an inevitable part of ageing, and is too often just ignored,’ says chief executive Liam O’Toole. ‘This is completely unacceptable. So people are coming together as Versus Arthritis to change this, and we won’t stop until no one has to tolerate living with the pain, fatigue and isolation of arthritis.’
Should you support Versus Arthritis? Ask Barbara. ‘If someone has some money, I would say yes. I think they’re brilliant, but there’s so much to do. They just need to keep doing their work.’
Helping to end the pain, with Versus Arthritis
A gift of £25 could help provide the best support for people with arthritis, and £50 could go towards discovering new, effective treatments.
Visit versusarthritis.org/Barbara or call 0800 515 209