Hello and a very warm welcome to our website!
If you’re here we’re glad you’ve found us. Whether you’re looking for helpful resources, stories of survival, compassionate funding, or information about our free counselling initiative, we’ve tried to include it all. If you’d like to donate, we’d love to hear from you too. Without Wings is predominately a trust, providing funds for a variety of compassionate services for people living with autoimmune arthritis conditions on the Isle of Man.
Tales Of The Unexpected -
Healing Against The Odds
Tales of the Unexpected II took place in July to a packed house at the lovely Noa Bakehouse, and was a fantastic success. Many thanks to our speakers, Katy Hoogendam and Iida van der Byl Knoefel and also to Andy Swarbrick, one of last year’s speakers, who returned this year in a support capacity. Also a massive thank you once again to Manx Radio, IOM Newspapers and Manx Life for their on-going support, and for helping to spread the word of this particular event – a fascinating and at times heart-breaking look at Autoimmune Arthritis. This evening was designed to explore the much mooted benefits of a low fat plant based diet on the progression of illnesses such as Autoimmune Arthritis.
Without Wings, The Manx Autoimmune Arthritis Trust
Rheumatoid, Psoriatic and Juvenile Arthritis, Lupus and Ankylosing Spondylitis
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Dalai Lama XIV
Enter the Secret World of Autoimmune Arthritis…
What is the ‘Secret World of Autoimmune Arthritis,’ and Why Should You Care?
We all have preconceptions about everything in life. Arthritis is no different. With autoimmune arthritis conditions accounting for only about 20% of ‘arthritis’ diagnoses, you would be forgiven if the first image that pops into your head is a set of gnarly fingers or that old knee injury that’s been giving you grief. It’s doubtful you’re thinking of a crippled child in hospital or a new mum unable to hold her baby. You probably aren’t thinking about organ complications, stomach complications, blindness, sepsis or fatigue, nor about the psychological impact of hospital waiting times, medication side effects, or being unable to go to school or do your job. You might think of loneliness or depression, because these are complications for anyone with a chronic pain disorder. Overall though, the chances are you’re thinking of two things: creaky joints and old age.
Let’s get this straight. Autoimmune arthritis conditions are exactly that – autoimmune conditions. Like other autoimmune conditions such as Chrohn’s Disease, MS and Diabetes Type 1, they occur when a confused immune system begins to attack healthy tissue. They can affect older people, younger people, and yes, even children, with onset most commonly occurring when people are in their prime: working, or child-bearing age. They also don’t just attack the joints. Internal organs, hair, skin, gums and eyes can all be affected, as well as up to every joint in the body. A bad flare can leave you utterly depleted, and though nowadays prognosis is better than it was, learning to live well with a ‘progressive and incurable’ diagnosis – though entirely possible, can be a challenge. One that isn’t helped when nobody understands.
Without Wings was established in 2016 because we believe that if you are affected by autoimmune arthritis, you deserve to be understood. We also believe you deserve to have access to resources that help you find your own path to living well. We don’t run aggressive campaigns. We try not to ram facts or figures down people’s throats and we don’t encourage pity parties, simply because we believe you – and those around you, deserve better. Our campaign focuses entirely on compassion, something that we hope one day will become a primary consideration when it comes to chronic illness. We believe compassion and understanding are vital components when it comes to reducing feelings of loneliness, isolation and frustration, and minimising pressure in schools, workplaces and your social and home environment.
Approximately 1-1.5% of the population have, or are going through, an autoimmune arthritis diagnosis. This means our relatively tiny Island of only 86,000+ people, is home to around 1000 people living with these complex – and crippling, illnesses. When you consider that some sources state up to 40% of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients experience depression, encouraging compassion is no small matter.
We hope you find something wonderful within these pages to remind you that you are far more than your diagnosis.
Love and blessings, Without Wings, the Manx Autoimmune Arthritis Trust
Awareness. Information. Compassionate Funding.
“Compassion, something that we hope one day will become a primary consideration when it comes to chronic illness. ”
Without Wings, the Manx Autoimmune Arthritis Trust
“To raise awareness and provide information and compassionate funding for affected individuals when they are most ‘without wings’ – or their physical or emotional freedom.”
Without Wings – The Manx Autoimmune Arthritis Trust.
Due to Covid 19, No Events are Planned for 2020
As Covid 19 has scuppered events for this year, we would like to use this space to post a memorial for our wonderful friend and fervent supporter, Lynsey Martin, who tragically passed away in March.
Lynsey was a huge supporter of Without Wings from day 1, offering her help wherever she could – whether by helping us bounce ideas, or through providing plant based tasters at some of our events. Some of you might remember Lynsey from our Tales of the Unexpected event (pictured), where she kindly prepped and served all the food – even when she was massively pregnant and about to pop! Lynsey also represented her healthy eating campaign, Fresh Start, at our Complementary Health Fair, providing endless mountains of delicious free food for all to try. Lynsey was such a good person, so full of life, so generous, only ever a joy to bump into, and so totally in touch with her own humanity. Her family have told us that Without Wings was “the only charity Lynsey ever believed in,” which, given what an honest, and exploratory soul she was, is the greatest compliment we could ever receive.
We are very honoured to say Lynsey’s family and friends have been running a campaign for the charity in Lynsey’s memory. This has raised a spectacular £1,675.66. We are so grateful for these much needed funds. To honour Lynsey’s passion for self-care and especially yoga, post lockdown we will be allocating £1,500 directly towards our campaign to help affected persons have easier access to physical maintenance classes, such as yoga and pilates. The rest (Covid allowing), we plan to use to underwrite another Community Complementary Health Fair in 2021, which will be run in Lynsey’s memory. Rest in peace dear Lynsey, though it was for too short a time, we are deeply grateful to have been able to call you a friend. Our thoughts are with her much loved family at this time.
How We Can Help
- Our ever evolving counselling service in conjunction with the wonderful Lisa Lowe Centre is fully funded by Without Wings, the Manx Autoimmune Arthritis Trust.
- We can provide discretionary funding towards complementary health support programmes such as healthy reflexology, craniosacral, acupuncture, homoeopathy etc. These services are often invaluable when it comes to helping sufferers feel calmer, more supported and better in control of their health.
- Without Wings can offer discretionary funding toward physical rehabilitation programmes, short term home help, or help with the purchase of physical aid equipment.
What Is Autoimmune Arthritis? The Facts:
- The most common autoimmune arthritis illnesses include: rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis (RA and PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), lupus and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). However, there are actually dozens of types of autoimmune arthritis.
- These illnesses are often ‘invisible.’ This means the person can look perfectly healthy even when struggling, a particular problem for people of working age.
- RA, PsA, AS, lupus and JIA are serious autoimmune illnesses. Cited as ‘progressive and incurable,’ they can affect the entire body.
What does Without Wings hope to achieve?
Hear from some of the inspirational people – especially from our community, who have found ways to live well in spite of, or sometimes, because of their condition. Some might have taken the opportunity to completely overhaul their life style. Others may have found smaller, yet just as significant, ways to positively face these challenges such as nurturing family or friendship groups, or through giving their time and efforts to others. Some have even focused on developing new skills.
Welcome back to Without Wings! It's been a while - and an awful lot has happened, including the completely out of the blue Covid 19 pandemic that's sent everyone reeling! We hope you are somehow still managing to thrive - despite the huge interruptions to medical -...
Outer Limits - Beyond Medical Boundaries July 2019, with Liverpool Hospitals Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon, Mr George Ampat (Tr and Orth) and Dr Michael Hooper, London GP /MSc in Nutrition First blog post in a very long time! Thank you so much to everybody who...
*** Many thanks to so many people for their fantastic fundraising efforts!*** *** Exciting news from the Co-op!*** ***Counselling Initiative and the Lisa Lowe*** *** July's 'Tales of the Unexpected - Healing Against the Odds' and Iida's new cookbook!*** *** The Big...