“I believe in the power of talking... it’s important to be open about your condition.”

Collage of pictures of Rebecca Hart.

Rebecca Hart, 36, was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at the age of 3.

Rebecca’s condition is very severe and from the age of 14 she has needed a wheelchair. She now lives in assisted housing near her family home and can visit her mum regularly.

Keen to help others

“I don’t remember being diagnosed but I’ve seen family videos where I had casts on both my legs, in order to straighten them out.

“My arthritis has severely affected my eyes and I’m partially sighted in the right eye and blind in the left.

“I’m keen to help other people living with disabilities and have talked at primary schools, as well as writing my own book called ‘Rebecca Hart – my journey with rheumatoid arthritis' which is available on Amazon.

“I’ve tried to maintain my independence as much as possible and living in adapted housing, which has wheelchair access and a wet room, has allowed me to do this. I can help in the kitchen but it’s nice having friends who can help out from time to time.”

The power of talking

“I’ve found dating challenging, and often feel that people treat me differently because I’m in a wheelchair. My last partner also had a disability and that really helped as we had a mutual understanding.

“I really believe in the power of talking and think it’s important to be open about your condition. That’s why I wrote my book. I wanted to help people understand the condition better, so they could support others.”

Read more about the benefits of talking.

Get in touch

If you’d like to talk to someone about your arthritis and how it’s making you feel, please don’t suffer in silence. You can call our free helpline on 0800 5200 520.

Alternatively, you can share your own experience and learn about the challenges and successes others have experienced, through our online community and social media channels.