12 Rheumatoid Arthritis-Inspired Tattoos

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  • Staying Strong and Raising Awareness

    Staying Strong and Raising Awareness

    Thanks to the wonderful rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who sent in photos of their tattoos as well as the stories behind them. As you have shown, a tattoo can be a great way to remind yourself to stay strong in the face of RA, and to raise awareness of the condition as well.

    Click through our slideshow to get inspired by RA patients who aren’t afraid to face their condition head on and share their experience with others.

  • United in Battle Against RA

    United in Battle Against RA

    My sister was diagnosed at 18 months old with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). We got these matching tattoos we designed to unite us in her battle with JRA. She is now 37.

    —Michele

  • One Step at a Time

    One Step at a Time

    I’ve been diagnosed for four years. The RA ribbon on my foot reminds me to take my disease one step at a time!

    —Ginger Clinton

  • Bad to the Bone

    Bad to the Bone

    I was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. My entire life has been a struggle. [I did] not fully understand what this disease was doing to me until I got older—realize what it took from me, and what it continues to take from me… people who are in my life have no way in understanding any of what I go through. It sucks—arthritis sucks.

    —Marissa Ankenbauer

  • Remember Where You Came From

    Remember Where You Came From

    I am 36 years old and the mother of three children. I was diagnosed with RA three years ago, and one of the first places that RA affected was my left wrist—the hand I write with. Every day is a battle, but I refuse to let it take over my life. I always look at this tattoo remind myself of where I came from, and to keep fighting!

    —Shannon

  • With Pain Comes Strength

    With Pain Comes Strength

    I was diagnosed at 17 with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. I am 21 now, have been facing a tough road, and will continue to face one. I am thankful for my amazing rheumatologist, who has helped me feel a little less pain and a little more normal. This tattoo symbolizes my never-ending battle with RA that must be fought. With pain comes strength.

    —Stephanie

  • Stronger Than RA

    Stronger Than RA

    I was diagnosed with RA over three years ago. I got this tattoo to remind me to believe in myself. I am stronger than this disease.

    —Carrie

  • Never Giving Up

    Never Giving Up

    This is a reminder to myself to never give up the fight. Placed on my wrist for the world to see… so they may ask questions, to educate others. The colors represent my fight against RA/fibromyalgia, and the angel is for my dad, who lost his battle due to complications from RA. I’m a survivor.

    —Christy

  • Faith, Hope, and Love

    Faith, Hope, and Love

    Faith, hope, and love are what I chose for my RA tattoo. It’s those three things that are going to get me through this terrible mess. I was diagnosed in November of 2012 and as of yet I’ve had no relief. I’ve continued to get worse, along with other health issues adding more pain. There are days I don’t even want to get out of bed. But [I have] my faith, the love of my amazing family and friends, and the hope that one day soon I’ll be pain-free and back to my old self.

    —Sherri

  • We Are Warriors

    We Are Warriors

    I have RA, pulmonary fibrosis, and just found out I have Sjogren’s syndrome and osteoporosis. I’ve had RA and pulmonary for 12 years, and have gone through a lot, so I chose to get this tattoo to just remind me, when I get discouraged at times, to have lots of faith and strength. We are warriors! I just got it like a month ago and it healed fine with no problem.

    —Sonia

  • Raising Awareness Daily

    Raising Awareness Daily

    I am 31 years old with severe RA. I got this tattoo four weeks ago. I had the ribbon put on my left finger, as it was my first deformity. It’s permanently bent. My tattoo raises awareness daily, as most people who see my hand ask what it means. I can hold up my crooked bent finger and say, “RA did this to me.”

    —Jenn

  • Overcoming Adversity

    Overcoming Adversity

    I was diagnosed with RA two years ago. I got this tattoo in May [2013]. The RA awareness ribbon is centered behind the koi fish. The koi fish symbolizes overcoming obstacles and adversity. The initials on either side of the ribbon and koi are my twin daughters’ initials. On the bottom is my wedding date. My twin daughters and my husband are my support and strength each and every day. Being diagnosed with RA has made me appreciate all that I have and how precious each and every day truly is.

    —Jamie Bump

  • Live, Love, and Laugh

    Live, Love, and Laugh

    My tattoo reminds me every day to live, love, and laugh. Each ‘L’ looks like a ribbon, and my heart represents my strength to appreciate my life. Each ribbon represents one of my illnesses: asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disease.

    —Catherine

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