{261/365} sara


new york city

diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 29




sara is the voice behind the single gal's guide to rheumatoid arthritis and the organizer of our recent sick chick club meet-ups in nyc.


she is such a terrific person, great friend and amazing advocate for people with RA and other autoimmune diseases. i am so happy to have met her! sadly (for me, at least), she is soon moving to baltimore. i know it's going to be great for her, but i'll miss my new friend!


this is the beginning of a project i am working on. my plan is to do a portrait series of people with autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, hashimoto's disease, etc.). often, these diseases strike people at a young age and are chronic. we don't usually look sick, but they never really go away. there are so many people out there who are struggling with these health issues, and the general public doesn't really understand. i want to give a face to these diseases to inform my friends and family at least, and the world at best, that we really aren't "too young to have that" and that even though we "don't look sick," we are. and we need your care and support.


with that, if any one wants to volunteer for a portrait session or has a friend or family member who might be interested, please flickr mail me or e-mail me at jodimckeephotography@gmail.com. thanks!!

  • michellegrabarek 6y

    I would love to be a part of this. I was diagnosed at 15 and am now 24. I am in Northern Indiana so I doubt you would come here. What if I had someone photograph me and e-mail it to you? Good or bad idea?
  • jodi*mckee PRO 6y

    @michellegrabarek: i am from northern indiana! i'll be back in the elkhart/south bend area at christmas. let me know if you are free then!
  • Miekes Makes PRO 6y

    Wow! I just love Sara's portrait... She's beautiful. And Jodi, what a great project you're on to!

    I was just strolling around on Flickr and by chance I found your photostream. I have RA, to be exact: youth rheumatism, since I was two years old... I'm now 32 years old. My hands are deformed, so my disease is not completely invisible... I'm aware of the fact that stupid enough that can be some kind of advantage, because there are less people who don't understand my handicap... But of course there will always be misunderstanding about it. For example: I can walk, but not for long distances... So when I go shopping in the city I'll use my wheelchair. But I can get out of my wheelchair easily, and you can imagine that's always an odd sight for most people.
    If you ever come to the Netherlands... ;-) ... I'd love you to make a portrait of me.

    Keep up the good work Jodi!
  • jodi*mckee PRO 6y

    thank you. so good to connect with other, isn't it? and i would love to visit the netherlands. i'll let you know if i make it over there!
  • Don 6y

    Much success to you Jodi on your project.
  • Leah Reich PRO 6y

    you can totally count me in =)

  • jodi*mckee PRO 6y

  • gardenerbydesign 6y

    What a beautiful portrait for a beautiful project!

    I have undifferentiated connective tissue disease (leaning toward lupus) and fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed at 30, and I am now 42. If you ever plan to come to central Florida, let me know!

    Best of luck to all of us!
  • Lee Davenport PRO 6y

    You rock! Love this first portrait.
  • AmyLouPics 6y

    HI Jodi
    what a great project you are doing...Bravo to you.
    Please include Scleroderma in your list of Autoimune diseases. I worked for the Scleroderma Foundation for 4 years. The National office is in Massachusetts but there is a local Chapter in NYC.

    Can't wait to see more of your project....
  • Erin PRO 6y

    this is a gorgeous portrait. and your idea is awesome. i will talk to my friend with an autoimmune disease not mentioned here (i can NEVER remember the exact name, but I'd know it if i saw it). she lives in Brooklyn so it won't be hard, if she's willing.
  • jodi*mckee PRO 6y

    yes, please do!!!
  • Johanna PRO 6y

    Decades ago, as a schoolgirl I used to have a friend who had been diagnosed with RA when she was 5. Unfair, isn't it?

    This is a great idea for a portrait project - and a pretty one to start with!
  • bettyBA 6y

    As a new member of the Autoimmune Club, I 'd like to say this is such a fabulous idea! :)
    Best of luck!
  • bettyBA 6y

    And...I am in Albany, NY living with RA. I would love to be part of this as well!
  • jodi*mckee PRO 6y

    "welcome" betty! do you ever come down to the city?
  • bettyBA 6y

    I haven't been in a while! but, I would love to! :)
  • Lene Andersen PRO 6y

    I think this is a wonderful idea! I've had RA for 40+ years and it's not invisible in me (I use an electric wheelchair) - much as it can get annoying, it's also a relief at times that my condition is visible. I don't get the same suspicion or weird attitudes that people whose disease is invisible get (Ok, so I get plenty of weird attitudes, but that's a story for another day!)

    I'm a photographer, too and it really does something to your coping skills to have a creative outlet. Best of luck with your project!
  • jodi*mckee PRO 6y

  • Cybergabi PRO 6y

    Hey, I just realized I've got the 'making of' of this! :-)

    Jodi and Sarah
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Taken on August 8, 2009
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