November 28, 2019

How many people do you walk by every day who are fighting an invisible tormentor?

Mark Straiton, 50

I was diagnosed with a form of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) several years ago, which is an auto-immune condition. Prior to experiencing my symptoms, like many people, I had no idea of what living with an outwardly invisible auto-immune condition is like.

There are many other auto-immune conditions that hundreds of thousands of people in our society are living and struggling with every day.

Many of these conditions are outwardly invisible to others but have a terrible impact mentally and physically on the sufferer. I aim the piece to make us think about how many of those affected by these ‘hidden’ conditions we unknowingly encounter every day, and the unseen battle mentally and physically that they are enduring constantly.

I wanted to personify the condition to emphasise the deeply personal nature of auto-immune conditions and how they can turn the sufferer against themselves.

I am one of the lucky ones as I am currently in remission. However, there is no cure and I dread the day Arthur returns, as he surely will.