Challenge Arthritis at six-week self management course

Challlenging Arthritis course leader, Nancy Toner. Challenging Arthritis begins in Ballymena North Centre, Cushendall Road, on February 4.
Challlenging Arthritis course leader, Nancy Toner. Challenging Arthritis begins in Ballymena North Centre, Cushendall Road, on February 4.

Arthritis is the single biggest cause of physical disability in Northern Ireland affecting 250,000 people here, 30,000 of them under 45 years of age.

Arthritis Care NI understands how difficult it can be to cope and are running a six-week self-management course in Ballymena North Business & Recreation Centre from Wednesday, February 4, from 10.30am-1pm.

The ‘Challenging Arthritis’ course, funded by the Health and Social Care Board (North), is free for anyone over 18 years living with arthritis. Sessions are run by volunteers who have arthritis themselves and know first-hand how debilitating this condition can be.

Challenging Arthritis course leader Nancy Toner was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was 16. “For many years I was completely in the dark and very frightened about what was happening to my body. Any information for a patient was often very difficult to come by. Years of hospital appointments, trial and error with various medications, culminated in my first joint replacement at the age of 39.” said Nancy.

“In 2003, I saw an advert for Challenging Arthritis. This was a turning point in my life. Going on the course enabled me to meet other people who had exactly the same pain and problems that I had been living with so many years. After the course I was asked to become a Training Volunteer, I had got so much out of the course I was very happy to spread the good news,” she said.

To secure your place on the forthcoming course contact Yvonne on 9078 2940 or Yvonnek@arthritiscare.org.uk.