Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Show Us Your Hands! Establishes Founding Committee to Help Raise Awareness of Autoimmune Arthritis

(January 24, 2012) - Show Us Your Hands! is pleased to announce the new collaborative effort of three leading advocates from the inflammatory arthritis blogging community. Lene Andersen (The Seated View) and Cathy Kramer (The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo) have joined forces with RA Guy (Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy) to organize creative community projects and effective awareness campaigns aimed at increasing the public’s understanding of autoimmune arthritis.

Show Us Your Hands! started as a community collage project in December 2011. The interactive digital collage and commemorative poster include hundreds of photos of the hands of individuals who live with inflammatory arthritis, and represent people of all ages from around the world. This inaugural project serves not only as a symbol of the wonderfully supportive inflammatory arthritis community that continues to grow and connect online, but also acts as a reminder that people who live with these diseases should be proud of, and not ashamed of, their autoimmune arthritis hands. New photos continue to be added to this community collage on a regular basis.

Upcoming initiatives will build upon the overwhelming success of and positive community reaction to this initial project. The three members of the founding committee are currently working on establishing an organizational roadmap, and in the coming weeks will be announcing the details of the first of many upcoming projects and campaigns. “Reading through the responses to Show Us Your Hands! and viewing the photos of all the hands, I am overwhelmed by the strength of our community.  Together we have built a relationship of understanding and compassion to replace what for many has been a void.  As Show Us Your Hands! moves forward, I am excited to see that strength grow,” says founding member Cathy Kramer.

Autoimmune diseases occur when a body’s immune system mistakenly attack healthy tissue. In the case of inflammatory arthritis a person’s joints are frequently attacked, resulting in chronic pain and debilitating inflammation. The most common inflammatory arthritis diseases are Ankylosing Spondylitis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Psoriatic Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleroderma, Sjogren's Syndrome, Still's Disease, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Show Us Your Hands! is an international awareness movement which serves to unite and inspire the inflammatory arthritis community. For more information, please visit www.showusyourhands.com. Show Us Your Hands! can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.