Meet CreakyJoints SpokesAthlete, Dina Neils

Dina Neils After Race Pose crop

Prolific athlete and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) advocate Dina Neils signs as global SpokesAthlete with CreakyJoints

Upper Nyack, NY, September 19, 2014… CreakyJoints (www.creakyjoints.org), a non-profit arthritis education and advocacy organization and online community with more than 73,000 people, has named triathlete Dina Neils, 30,from Elk Grove, CA, as its global SpokesAthlete.

A beacon in the arthritis community, Dina is an accomplished amateur athlete with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) and two total hip replacements. Despite a 12-year battle with RA, Dina has continued to defy all odds to train, compete and act as a role model. Within the last two years , Dina has completed 12 races, many with top age group finishes and medals, in addition to a couple of top overall female achievements.

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. 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 the official SpokesAthlete, Dina will represent CreakyJoints at athletic events to raise awareness of this disease which affects millions, and to register people with arthritis and their caregivers in CreakyJoints’ confidential arthritis database. Participation in this database, funded by a grant under the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, will enable research to help create better access-to-care for millions of people with arthritis.

Dina also will educate local, state and national legislators about issues and legislation important to arthritis patients, including biosimilars, drug switching and fail-first drug practices (www.healthybiologics.org and www.failfirsthurts.org )

Through her CreakyJoints page and blog posts (https://creakyjoints.org/author/dina-neils/), Dina will write about her racing, education and life experiences with arthritis.
Dina’s ultimate goal is to make Team USA for triathlon and to represent CreakyJoints on an international level. You can follow Dina’s road to success at: www.dinaneils.com. 

 

About Dina Neils www.dinaneils.com

As an infant Dina Neils was adopted out of the foster care system in Antioch, CA by loving foster parents.  An honor student with little interest in sports, Dina joined the cross country and track team in high school and earned a spot on the varsity team in her junior year – one of the top ranked teams in the state. Dina went on to join the cross country team at California State University, Sacramento, where she graduated in 2007 with a B.A in Public Relations and a minor in Journalism.

While training for her first collegiate cross country season, a chronic pain in her foot 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.

Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and told by her doctor, “You will never run again and you will be in a wheel chair by the time you’re in your mid 20’s,” Dina refused to accept that diagnosis, told the doctor she was wrong, and walked out.

For 12 years Dina battled RA, an autoimmune 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—but no matter how difficult the fight became, Dina never gave up. She refused to let the disease define who she was or what she wanted to accomplish.

Dina has had two total hip replacements, and has learned how to walk again (twice).  In 2012-2014 she completed many long distance running races, including half marathons. Most recently, Dina successfully crossed over into triathlon. She completed her first triathlon in 2013, and has filled her race calendar with many more.

Dina believes the purpose in her journey is an opportunity to inspire and help others. As CreakyJoints SpokesAthlete she will build awareness of RA in the athletic and arthritis communities. Dina is also an Arthritis National Research Foundation and Arthritis Foundation advocate, and is also on the Racing for a Cure team.

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.”

In 2013 Dina began writing a blog for CreakyJoints (https://creakyjoints.org/author/dina-neils/). Dina has been featured in international publications, including The Platform Magazine, Arthritis Digest, Everyday Health, LAVA Magazine, Good Day Sacramento, Charity Miles, Arthritis National Research Foundation, FootZone, and many others.

Dina resides in Elk Grove, CA and trains with the Elk Grove Tri Club (http://www.meetup.com/Elk-Grove-Tri-Club/ .)

Extremus, LLC www.goextremus.com

Dina Neils is represented by Extremus, LLC., a global lifestyle company headquartered in New York City that provides professional marketing and management services. Contact Richard Burgunder at Extremus, LLC for Dina Neils, (646) 580-4389 or [email protected]

Dina Neils child

Dina (r) with foster sister Camille. Dina and Camille grew up together – the couple who adopted Dina also wanted to adopt Camille but Camille’s mother turned her life around and got Camille back. However, Camille only lived a few blocks away. The girls are still best friends.

Dina Neils teenager

Dina at 16 in the Cross Country race at Contra Loma—the age in which her doctors suspected she was starting to show signs of rheumatoid arthritis, but wasn’t diagnosed yet.

Dina Neils wetsuit race

June 28, 2014, California Triathlon. She finished 13th in her age group.

Dina Neils After Race Pose

June 8, 2014, Folsom International Triathlon. She finished 10th in her age group.