Karen and Arthritis




Karen's Advocacy Work

Karen with Kathleen Turner

Actress Kathleen Turner gave an inspirational speech about her RA story at an Arthritis Foundation, New York Chapter event in October 2006.

I have had rheumatoid arthritis for more than half of my life. It has been a journey which has both fulfilled my life and shattered it. Through the acceptance of my disease and by learning how to manage it, I have been able to help and inspire people of all ages who are faced with the battle of learning to live with a chronic disease. My advocacy work brings me so much satisfaction.

My quality of life changed when I discovered the biological drugs in 2001 after moving to New York City. It was at this time I contacted the Arthritis Foundation in my ‘home country’ Australia to become an advocate. I felt very strongly that sufferers of RA in Australia should have access to some of the new biological drugs that I had discovered after moving to America. We lobbied the Australian Government, gained some media coverage through the publication of my story in Time Magazine and the widely read Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. Finally, we were successful in our endeavor to enable Australians with arthritis to have access to these new biologic drugs. Aggressive, early treatment of the disease can make all the difference.

I then decided to pursue some advocacy work in the U.S.A. and attended the Arthritis Summit in Washington D.C. in March 2003. I was instrumental in re establishing communications between Centocor and the Arthritis Foundation New York, which led in part to the Joint Effort program. Centocor then asked me to be the key spokes person in their patient video about Remicade.

I only began to tell my story after I left Australia. It wasn’t until then that I realized just what I had achieved in my fight against this disease. I wanted to inspire and empower others. I have enjoyed speaking at various events for the Arthritis Foundation in New York and New Jersey. My most memorable speeches have been at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City with Sopranos star Aida Turturro and at the launch of the Arthritis Walk breakfast in 2005 at the famous Met Life Building in New York. Supported by family and friends, I am a keen participant in the annual Arthritis Walk. Last year I was also proud to be nominated as a Board Member for the Arthritis Foundation, New York Chapter.

I accept my illness but will never let it define me, or stop me from pursuing my hopes and dreams.

Karen with Aida Turturro

Karen with Sporanos star and
fellow RA-sufferer Aida Turtorro


Arthritis Foundation


The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children's Arthritis Foundation.


  COPYRIGHT 2006- Karen Ager 














Karen in Washington DC


Arthritis Walk

Kathleen Turner and Friends