HealthCentral Community Leader, RA and Disability Advocate
HealthCentral – Remedy Health Media
The Wordsmith Who Arms and Inspires
There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Lene Andersen has faced this reality since she first started to experience symptoms of juvenile arthritis at just four years old. She spent the majority of her childhood in and out of hospitals, and by her mid-teens she was required to use a power wheelchair. This disease took so much from her, but it is precisely what inspired her to help others.
Biologics provided Lene with a new lease on life and allowed her to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. Her first book, Your Life With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain, is packed with four decades worth of knowledge on how to manage the many challenges of living with a chronic disease. Her unapologetically honest writing style has been praised by both the RA community and critics. In 2007, Lene won the Larry Turner Award for Non-Fiction. And her TheSeatedView blog won Best Chronic Illness Blog as well as Best Disability Blog by the Canadian Blog Awards.
Since 2008, Lene has served as the Community Leader of HealthCentral’s RA site, where she writes about her personal and professional experience to inform others about how to live well with RA. Lene’s contributions have made the RA site one of the most popular on HealthCentral—amassing more than two million unique visitors in the past year.
Lene is also a thought leader and advocate in the disability community, involved with several organizations. She contributes to blog posts to CreakyJoints, a website run by the Global Health Foundation. And as President and Director of Community Outreach for Show Us Your Hands, an organization dedicated to inspiring people who live with inflammatory arthritis to feel proud about their bodies, she helped grow the online community to more than 5,000 members. But Lene has always been able to inspire others with RA.
One RA patient had this to say about Lene’s book: “I have lived with RA for a long time, yet I learned things from Your Life With Rheumatoid Arthritis that I will find helpful for years to come. Thank you, Lene Andersen!”