• Titanium Triathlete
    Titanium Triathlete
    “You will never run again and you will be in a wheel chair by the time you’re in your mid 20’s.” Not willing to accept that diagnosis, Dina Neils told the doctor that she was wrong and walked out – she was 18. For 12 years Dina battled RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disease with no cure that causes chronic pain and inflammation affecting joints and organs throughout the body.) RA deteriorated her hips - nothing but bone grinding on bone. Dina, a beacon in the arthritis community, has since had two total hip replacements, has learned how to walk again (twice), and literally swam, cycled, and ran herself into remission. Dina achieved remission from Sept 2013 - Sept 2014, and is fighting every day to continue to do what she loves – triathlon. At the age of 18, Dina was an accomplished long distance runner embarking on her first year of collegiate competition. While training for cross country season, RA started in her foot – within weeks chronic pain spread to her toes, knees, hips, hands, elbows and jaw. In a couple of months Dina went from being a healthy athlete to becoming disabled. Even with an arsenal of the best medical treatment, (daily pain killers, steroids, cortisone, weekly self injections, chemotherapy, and monthly infusions), the nature of the disease seemed never-ending. Over the years no matter how difficult the fight became, Dina never gave up. Despite a 12-year battle with RA, Dina has continued to defy all odds to train, compete and act as a role model. Dina’s journey back to running has been remarkable – and it has only just begun. Within the last two years, Dina has completed 12 races (triathlons and running races), many with top age group finishes and medals, in addition to a couple of top overall female achievements. Dina’s main event is triathlon, and her ultimate goal is to make Team USA. Dina has also set her sights on completing her first Ironman 70.3 in 2016. Dina’s passion to help others and “never-give-up” attitude has enabled her to inspire people who are battling adversity to pursue their dreams and not allow a medical diagnosis to detour them. As the official CreakyJoints SpokesAthlete, Dina represents CreakyJoints at athletic events to raise awareness of RA, educates local, state and national legislators about issues and legislation important to arthritis patients, blogs about her racing, education and life experiences with arthritis. Dina is also an Arthritis National Research Foundation and Arthritis Foundation advocate, and is also on the Racing for a Cure team (which helps raise funds to find a cure for arthritis.) Over the past couple of years, Dina’s visibility as an inspirational and highly motivated public figure has exploded. Dina has been featured in international publications, including The Platform Magazine, Everyday Health, LAVA Magazine, Good Day Sacramento, Arthritis National Research Foundation, Arthritis Digest, and many others. As an infant Dina was adopted out of the foster care system by her loving foster parents. They treated her as their own and gave her the chance at a better life. Her parents continued to foster children in need for over 20 years – providing a safe haven and a nurturing environment. She grew up in Antioch, CA, a small city in the East Bay Area. As an honor student, Dina excelled in the class room with little interest in sports until high school - where she joined the cross country and track team. Junior year, she earned a spot on the varsity team – one of the top ranked teams in the state. Dina went on to join the cross country team at California State University of Sacramento. In 2007, she graduated with a B.A in Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Dina currently resides in Elk Grove, CA and trains with the Elk Grove Triathlon Club. Every day, Dina lives by these words: “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, “because of you I didn’t give up.”

Surgery Recovery Chronic-les: Direct from the post-op trenches

CJ Blogger Dina Neils, a triathlete with RA & two total hip replacements, combats the brain fog of heavy pain meds to chronicle her recent wrist fusion surgery

Athlete with RA crosses finish line at USA Triathlon National Championships!

CJ SpokesAthlete Dina Neils, a triathlete with RA & two total hip replacements, shares how she swam, biked, ran, cried & fought her way across the finish line at Nationals

#HealtheVoices15: Our voices are the same! Come join the #chronictribe!

Meducating. Infotaining. Revolutionizing medicine through social media. CJ Blogger Dina Neils was so impressed by #HealtheVoices15 she wrote about the conference on the plane home from JFK to Sacramento

Mega-Joy: CreakyJoints SpokesAthlete qualifies for USA Triathlon Nationals!

Once told she would never run again, CJ SpokesAthlete Dina Neils, who refused to let RA and two total hip replacements keep her down, writes about chasing her dream despite the pain and turmoil of disease

Medicine for the mind – a playlist of favorite songs in 2014

CreakyJoints SpokesAthlete Dina Neils with a playlist of her favorite songs for healing the body, mind and soul

CreakyJoints SpokesAthlete serves as Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run honoree

CreakyJoints SpokesAthlete Dina Neils fights back tears as she delivers her Jingle Bell Run honoree speech

@#%! Arthritis

Dina Neils, who races to build arthritis awareness, refuses to let flaring RA keep her from the Golden State Triathlon

Race Recap: California Triathlon

Dina on the special challenges in training, racing and post-race recovery for an athlete with RA

Dina’s top 10 favorite foods to combat inflammation

Dark chocolate tops the list ☺

Meet the new girl: Dina Neils, The Titanium Triathlete

CreakyJoints is delighted to welcome Dina to our featured blogger lineup, a self-described, “extrovert, corky and nerdy, “ who battles RA & runs to create arthritis awareness