We at RheumatoidArthritis.net are thankful!

Last updated: July 2017

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we at RheumatoidArthritis.net wanted to express our gratitude by sharing some of the many things that we are thankful for. And of course, we encourage you to do the same!

First, we’d first like to recognize all of our incredible contributors. We have such an amazing group of patient advocates as well as physician and healthcare experts who share their wealth of knowledge about rheumatoid arthritis.

Our patient advocates are willing to bare their heart and soul to us and to all of you; without them, RheumatoidArthritis.net could not exist. They are willing to open up to us about their feelings on their darkest days, yet they also lift our spirits with other stories of success and triumph. They share their tips and tricks for dealing with the everyday pain associated with RA, coping with life while living with an invisible disease, managing normal and abnormal symptoms, and much, much more. Most of all, they provide much needed support to our community members during their times of need.

Our physician and healthcare experts help us make sure we provide content on the site that is accurate and up to date so you have access to the latest and greatest of all things RA-related.

All of our contributors are responsible for taking what could just be another website, and turning it into a community.

The RheumatoidArthritis.net team

Patient Advocates

Andrew Lumpe
Andrew was officially diagnosed with RA in 2009 but lived with symptoms for many years prior. As a former high school science teacher and current college professor, he brings scientific and analytic perspectives to dealing with the disease.

Angela Lundberg
Angela is a writer, photographer, and health advocate and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 18. Living with the disease for over a decade has made her passionate about patient advocacy, and determined to not let RA stop her from doing what she loves in life.

Carla Kienast
Carla Kienast is a free-lance consultant offering a wide range of corporate communications services and the author of the acclaimed [trashy] suspense novel, Wake up with Fleas. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in June 2008, had hip-replacement surgery in August 2008, shoulder replacement surgery in April 2009, and both back surgery and knee replacement surgery in 2013.

Leslie Rott

Leslie was diagnosed with lupus and RA in 2008. She recently received a PhD in sociology and is now pursuing a career in health advocacy.

Lisa Emrich
Lisa Emrich is a patient advocate who has been helping patients educate and empower themselves since 2008. She uses her experience with MS and RA to educate patients and encourage them to take an active role in their own health care.

Mariah Zebrowski Leach
Mariah is a wife, mother, and writer with rheumatoid arthritis who always tries to keep looking forward.

Kelly Mack
Kelly Mack was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age two in 1979. RA affects all her joints and she uses a wheelchair to help with mobility. She’s had both her hips and knees replaced at age 15. Besides enjoying time with her husband and reading, Kelly likes to travel and visit her family.

Tamara Haag
Tamara Haag is a social worker who lives in Athens, Georgia with her husband and two young children. Diagnosed with RA in 2000 at the age of 22, Tamara has been balancing the demands of family, work, and school with disease management. When she can carve out the time, she enjoys reading, yoga, amateur photography and writing.


Melissa Halas Liang – Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian
Melissa holds a BS in Clinical Dietetics, a MA degree in Nutrition Education, is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and past Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian for 10 years. She has the Certificate of training for Childhood, Adolescent Weight Management, is a certified Wellness Coach and currently serves as the spokesperson for CDA.

Asha LeRay – Occupational Therapist
Asha was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2005 at the age of 25. She is an Occupational Therapist with over 10 years experience with pediatrics and adult rehabilitation.


Next, we are ever so grateful for our community! We are thrilled to have thousands of you visiting RheumatoidArthritis.net on a regular basis, participating in the RA in America research, commenting on articles, and sharing your thoughts with us here and on our Facebook page. We are humbled by your willingness to share your own personal stories with us, letting others with RA know that they are not alone.

Healthcare practitioners and research

We are also grateful for those who dedicate their lives to treating patients, as well as those who are also conducting valuable research in the field of RA. We hope that this research will one day lead to a cure so that no one has to live another day with RA.


And last, but not least, we are so very thankful for caregivers of those with RA. So many of our community members are fortunate enough to have a family member or a loved one who provides constant love and support, and help with the big and the little things in life that are made more difficult by RA. We are lucky to have a caregiver among our contributors, and he is able to share his story and the impact that his wife’s RA has on his own life.

Rob Osberg
A native Virginian and avid history buff, Rob Osberg is an expert in American civil rights. He first became a patient advocate and part-time caregiver when his now wife, Lisa Emrich, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005. Not long thereafter, Rob was called up for double-duty when Lisa was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. As a care partner, Rob aims to provide valuable physical and emotional support at home and actively advocates for the family.

We at RheumatoidArthritis.net would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all of you! Thank you for doing everything that you do to improve the lives of those with RA.

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