(April 7, 2012) – Show Us Your Hands! is pleased to announce that its inflammatory arthritis community collage has grown to more than one thousand photos. This interactive collage includes the hands of individuals who live with many different types of inflammatory arthritis, and can be viewed online at www.showusyourhands.org/interactive-collage/. To commemorate this milestone, Show Us Your Hands! plans to release a new 1000 Hands Poster this coming May as part of Arthritis Awareness Month.
The one-thousandth photo was submitted by Kathy Winkelmann of Rochester Hills, Michigan. Kathy was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in December 2011. “I’m just learning how to come to terms with it and not let it take over my life,” she says. Kathy will receive a complimentary copy of the upcoming 1000 Hands Poster, in recognition of the fact her hand was officially the one-thousandth photo that was submitted to the community collage.
The interactive collage debuted in December 2011. People of all ages from around the world are represented in this community project, and new photos continue to be added to on a regular basis. This community collage project serves not only as 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 inflammatory arthritis hands.
“When I first came up with the idea for this collage, I thought it would include, at most, one or two hundred photos. I’m so excited to see that the collage has expanded to more than a thousand photos in such a short period of time,” says Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy, creator and one of the founding directors of Show Us Your Hands! “I can’t wait to see how much more our proud community of hands will continue to grow into the future!”
Autoimmune diseases occur when a body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In the case of autoimmune 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.