A.S. Face 0591: Joanne Mac Neal

My name is Joanne Mac Neal.  I was misdiagnosed for years before I finally found out I had ankylosing spondylitis.  The low point was when I could not throw a baseball with my son when he was younger.  After trying every drug known to treat it with no success I found Enbrel and was doing well on that until recently.  I am now getting Remicade infusions to help with the chronic flares of iritis/uvietis.  I was able to dance with my son at his wedding on New Year’s Eve and have been enjoying the last 9 years with my husband.  I changed careers and am now a CNA at a local nursing facilities taking care of those who can’t do for themselves.  I have AS…AS does not have me.

New York United States of America


7 Responses to “A.S. Face 0591: Joanne Mac Neal”

  1. Awesome story Joanne. I love the “switching careers bit,” some of us are scared to try that. Love the picture…looks like another AS love story to me!!

  2. What an inspiring story! And familiar! The struggle with iritis/uveitis is one that I know well. I’m glad that your vision is well enough to strike out into a new career helping people! Cheers to you!

  3. Derek…I never thought I would be able to do what I am doing today. It is very physical work and I experience extreme fatigue, but the residents I take care of keep me going. Many have been through far much worse than myself. I even have a lady who is 101 and she is a joy to be around. Not sure how long I will be able to do it, buy refuse to let the AS choose the path I go down.

    Thanks for the nice comment.

  4. Dear Joanne,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  5. I am so proud of you Jo for sharing your story and I love you and always have for your strength!

    • Jackie, thanks…I do what I gotta do…Cookie, you are welcome…and thanks to you we are able to share our stories!

  6. I have since had to discontinue the remicade as my liver functions went up…once off they went back to normal. I am now back on enbrel with continued success.

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