Christine’s top ten tips for living life with RA

Or how to live your life with arms wide open even if they ache


Christine saw no joy this year until her heart was touched

The secret of the American College of Rheumatology convention

No medical conference “vacation” at ACR 13: Christine finds lots of hard work and hope

Can we always be positive?

No—but Christine explains why positivity is worth the hard work

New on CreakyJoints: Christine Talks JA

A place where Christine can talk to parents and family members, to JA Kids and to doctors and teachers, and anyone and everyone

The Intersections of life…

Advocacy and fashion: Christine’s two totally different paths are crossing.

Arthritis is not what you think it is

What we need to tell our doctors and what they need to tell us.   I once dreaded public speaking. Surprising because in front of television cameras I am totally calm and focused on my subject matter.  But put me in front of a room full of people all looking up at me standing behind a podium and my heart would beat, my stomach churn and my voice go one octave higher, not to mention faster. That was before. Before I was diagnosed with RA and before I knew kids got JA and before I had a mission. Now, my mission is to create awareness for this disease, especially for the kids, teens and young adults. Now I am as comfortable in front of hundreds of people in an auditorium as I am in front of millions on TV. My message, arthritis is not what you think it is. My focus? It’s not my heartbeats or my stomach churning, my focus is my mission. To date my advocacy audiences have all been associated with having arthritis. Parents who want insight into their JA kids, young adults who are searching for their identity and arthritis organization executives that are looking to raise money for awareness and find a cure. The perfect audiences because we are all on the same page. However, one very important page is missing. The doctors who treat RA and JA are not in the audience. The pediatricians and the rheumatologist who diagnose, write the prescriptions and monitor their patients are the missing. The reason I feel that page is missing is because the doctors are educated to treat the disease and they do it well, but they are not the patients. They don’t personally experience the way we feel, or the emotional and personal changes in our lives unless Read More


A day at the JA Conference. A conference for kids with arthritis? What is all this talk about a conference for juvenile arthritis? I had heard a lot about this conference, but hey, I have been to so many conferences. Lots of sitting around in those uncomfortable chairs drinking lukewarm coffee with someone telling me how to live life. Not my favorite thing to do. Until now. First, I felt honored that the Arthritis Foundation asked me to speak and lead an image class for Young Adults.Second, I was curious, how could these kids have fun at a conference? And Third, I wanted to meet all of my Facebook and Twitter friends. I felt like I knew them well but to see them in person? That was what I looked forward to the most. Well, now I know what everyone has been talking about. Why JA and RA families want to travel across the country to wherever this conference is being held. The reason? IT’S MAGICAL The JA Conference is magical. Sure the chairs are the same and the coffee is too, but the work, planning, love and dedication that goes into making kids, teens and young adults have an incredible experience is beyond anything I have ever seen….and I’ve seen the biggest and best of the entertainment worlds conferences. There is something for everyone. It’s not a lecture, it’s a sharing, a uniting of people who have something important in common. This sharing lets us know we are not alone. There are people who care and understand. Nobody said, “Yeah, I have arthritis, look at my big toe.” Nobody had to say anything, we just got it. Everyone had fun. Everyone felt the love. Everyone felt the support. And lucky, lucky me, I was there to experience it. Do I want to go Read More

Oprah, Lady Gaga, Spielberg, Beyonce, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Ellen…Where are you?

Christine on the difficulty in finding a celebrity spokesperson to stand up for RA and JIA. I spent part of the long holiday weekend talking with friends about advocacy. We are all advocates, but for different diseases. They have far more “popular” diseases than I do. Popular just doesn’t seem like the right word when talking about serious diseases. But then I have heard the word “sexy” used with Cancer. What in the world can make Cancer sexy? Nothing, right? But when it comes to media attention, the media has deemed Cancer sexy because of the huge celebrity support. I attended   Stand Up For Cancer, the TV special that is broadcasted on every network, all over the world.  One by one the biggest celebrities came forward and told either their personal stories about dealing with Cancer or the story of a loved one. TV personalities, movie personalities, all of Hollywood were speaking up. And what does that do? It raises millions of dollars for research and support for Cancer patients. It creates awareness. Everyone knows what Cancer is. Everyone. It doesn’t make Cancer sexy to anyone who has experienced it nor has a loved one who experienced it. It makes Cancer sexy to the media because of the celebrity support. Google Celebrity Advocates for Disease and you will see name after name, disease after disease. Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox for Parkinson’s. Ronald Regan and most recently Glen Campbell for Alzheimer’s, Elton John for AIDs and Angelina Jolie for Breast Cancer. I consider this a wonderful use of celebrity. Helping others in one of the most important ways, with serious health issues. Generating money and awareness for research, for that word we all want to hear….a cure. When I wrote my latest book Take Me Home From The Oscars I came out of Read More

Thank You Steve Jobs

Christine on how the computer changed her life for the better. Yesterday I wrote out a post for my Facebook page. I started out just saying I was going to replace my old and tired laptop and as I wrote on my keyboard, looking at all the things on my desktop I realized just how much the computer had changed my life. Years ago I went into learning the computer kicking and screaming. I was a writer, I loved my pink Smith-Corona typewriter. Yes, change is hard to make. My first lesson on a computer was with a guy who was so arrogant I felt like he was snickering behind my back as I asked him “How do I turn this thing on?” I knew right away he was the wrong teacher for me so I searched some more until I found a gentle man who didn’t think any question was a stupid one, and boy did I ask some stupid questions. Slowly between some college computer classes and a little help from my personal teacher I got it. The computer is a very smart typewriter. And the rest has been very happy history. So as I wrote this post for Facebook it went from a few lines to more, just as the computer took over my life and kept replacing other things that I thought I couldn’t live without. Now I know I simply can’t live without my computer. Here’s my Facebook post: Buying a new computer today. Saying goodbye to the old one. I wrote three books on this wonderful Mac laptop, started three Facebook pages, learned how to make a Keynote presentation, edited hundreds of photos for publication and joined Twitter. Shared a lot of stories and met a lot of interesting people. Traded my treasured Filo Read More