Patient-to-Patient Stories


One partnership

Peer Support Partner

Patient Partner’s Story


Peer Support Partner’s story


Meg Hyde


When I first learned of the Patient-to-Patient Connection Program, I immediately wanted to become involved. Talking to other people with Rheumatoid Arthritis has always been a powerful and rewarding experience for me. Knowing that there are other people out there going through what I am, that I am not alone, and being able to talk with others who have RA is an incredible relief and support in itself.

Since I was diagnosed with RA eleven years ago, there have been times that I wished I could have talked with another RA patient. I would have greatly benefitted from talking with someone. My wish to have had someone and my desire to be there for someone else are some of the reasons why I wanted to become a Support Partner.

Another reason is that I am currently not only in remission but also feeling better than I ever believed was even possible since being diagnosed. I want other people to know that such a remission is possible and to stay positive because it could happen to them. Another positive experience I would like to share is having children. I had been very worried about what would happen with my rheumatoid arthritis if I had children. I had read and heard so many scary stories about pregnancy and RA. Now I am the mother of a three year old and a one and a half year old. The experience is truly incredible, and my RA has benefitted, not Meg with her two daughterssuffered, from being pregnant and having children. And, lastly, I wanted to be a Peer Support Partner because I thought I, too, would really benefit from talking with someone else who has RA. Both me and my partner benefit from the relationship.



When thinking about having a partner, I anticipated providing encouragement, support, and hope to my patient partner.  Now that I am involved in providing support, I find the experience incredibly positive, and I encourage other people to either be partnered or to become a Peer Support Partner.  It is so nice to check in each week with my partner about our struggles and successes with RA as well as what is happening in our lives in general. 

Over the last three months a real friendship has developed and when I go more than a week with out talking with my partner, I feel out of touch and wonder how she is doing.  My partner has provided me with valuable information and first hand knowledge of RA related issues, such as acid reflux.  The Patient-to-Patient Connection Program has been a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend that anyone with RA become involved with it in some way because everyone benefits!





Her Patient Partner

I learned about the Patient-to-Patient Connection Program when I picked up a pamphlet while waiting to see my rheumatologist. I knew right then that I was interested in having a Peer Support Partner but I honestly did not know what to expect.  The program has exceeded my expectations and has truly become a blessing.

My peer coach has helped me in so many ways. First, she has encouraged me to try to take control of my arthritis. I have been having a lot of flares lately and have needed to increase my medicine in order to function. She has made me realize that my quality of life is important and that I have to take the necessary medicine to have a better quality of life.

Second, she has given me hope. We were diagnosed with our arthritis around the same number of years ago. I have had my arthritis around fifteen years now and was diagnosed at the age of eleven. To date, I have never been in remission. My Peer Support Partner has achieved remission after her pregnancies. She gives me so much hope that remission is possible for me someday.

Third, my partner has given me friendship. I enjoy my talks with her immensely. Each week I look forward to see how she is doing not just with regards to her arthritis but also with regards to the rest of her life. She has truly been an inspiration to me and has helped me with so many tough issues.

I would recommend the Peer Support Partner program to anyone with arthritis. It is truly beneficial. Your doctor takes care of your arthritis by providing necessary medicines and gives advice important advice during visits. However the majority of living with arthritis is outside of the doctor’s office. The Peer Support program helps to guide us through our day-to-day life and truly provides medicine for the soul. I know every time I get off the phone with my partner that I feel relieved and ready to face the world.