Thank You For Helping Larelle Live A Life Without Limits

Rheumatoid Arthritis took from Larelle what should have been some of the best years of her life. But thanks to support from her friends, family, and wonderful people like you, her list of life accomplishments is everything Larelle had always hoped it would be. And she appreciates her success so much more having overcome the hurdle of Rheumatoid Arthritis to achieve it.

I was 19 years old, and living my dream overseas in London, working and travelling in Europe, rock-climbing, dancing, and playing squash when suddenly my knees began swelling for no apparent reason. I had no idea at the time that arthritis was about to change my life forever.

 On returning home to Australia, I joined my Dad’s squash team for one game – sadly it was my last. Within a 3 month period I went from being an independent fun-loving, active woman to a very sick, depressed and very sore woman.

It took 18 months of seemingly endless tests, doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, and eventually double knee-replacements before I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

 I am ashamed to say that I told my specialist to stick his diagnosis and left the room crying. I didn’t speak to anyone for days. I just couldn’t cope with hearing about all of the terrible things that were happening to my body and about the drugs I needed to be taking for life.

I spent two years experimenting with diet changes and costly natural remedies before I accepted the help of my specialist and started progressing towards remission.

It’s taken a long time but with the support of my family and friends, I slowly overcame the physical, emotional and financial hurdles of rheumatoid arthritis.

I also attended a self-management course, and seminars held by Arthritis Queensland. To know that I wasn’t the only person in the world going through this meant so much. Meeting different practitioners and learning how to manage my condition made me feel a lot more in control.

Finally, on a regime of Enbrel injections my disease went into remission about 8 years ago.

I have spent the last 12 years building the life I thought rheumatoid arthritis had taken from me in my early 20s. 

I always wanted to continue to travel, build a career, and have a family. And at 43 years old, I am proud to say I have achieved all of that.

I’ve travelled extensively, for work and fun. I spent 4 years working in sub-Saharan Africa.  I work full-time in scientific research for the CSIRO at St Lucia and have recently completed a Masters in Rural Development. I am a single mother to my beautiful daughter, Savannah, and own the home we live in. I am the independent and active woman I once was, before my arthritis diagnosis.

I love life again and appreciate it more than ever. I am so grateful that living with Rheumatoid Arthritis hasn’t stopped me living the life I always imagined. It simply means, I might need more time to accomplish what I want to. But accomplish it, I will!