Arthritis is not just one kind of pain, “arthritis” refers to over 100 types of joint disease. Arthritis does not discriminate, and can strike at any time. Over 53 million adults and more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with arthritis in the United States alone, and the sisters of the Gamma Alpha chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi are among them. This is part of the reason that we are so passionate about our philanthropy.
Arthritis isn't an "old person's" disease, it's a disease that hurts so many- our parents, little siblings, peers, and sisters. Read some experiences our sisters have with arthritis.
Fourteen years ago, Alex Gharbo, member of the Spring ’16 pledge class, was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). She said, “I distinctly remember my first flair up at 7 years old. I was on a family vacation when my knees swelled up to the size of grapefruits, making it difficult to ignore due to the pain and the loss of flexibility. When I finally went to my mom, she instantly knew exactly what it was because she also has Rheumatoid Arthritis. After that initial flair up, my arthritis started to affect my other joints too.
I immediately knew that this was the sorority for me, not just because I have JRA and they support the movement to find a cure for arthritis, but because now I had the chance to join a sisterhood that was helping people like me. AOII isn’t just a sorority to me, it’s a group of girls who I can always count on to understand what I’m going through after so many years of feeling like no one understood. AOII has changed my view on arthritis for the better, I now feel hopeful that one day doctors will find better medications and maybe even a cure for Arthritis. I could not be happier with my decision to become a member of the Gamma Alpha chapter of Alpha Omicron PI, and to be able to contribute to this amazing search for a cure for arthritis!”