A.S. Face 2050: Ruth Germain

I am 61 years old and was diagnosed with AS at 32 years old. My symptoms started when I was in university at age 20. Between 20 and 32 I had a wide variety of symptoms that were called bursitis or sciatica, even paralysis for 2 months in hospital in Canada and another 2 months hospitalized in Milan, Italy.

I was actually relieved when I was diagnosed because I didn’t know why I was so different from other people – I didn’t really understand what normal was. I knew I wasn’t normal and it was frustrating.

I am not grateful to the disease, but I am happy for those that can be. It has created lots of issues in my life including 2 failed marriages because the husbands didn’t know how to deal with illness. Husband 3 is amazing and even convinced me to have a baby at age 40 – even though doctors said not to, that the additional weight would be too much strain. I am glad I did as I now have a wonderful daughter and I am grateful she didn’t inherit the AS gene.

Health problems – ugh – just had 2 hip replacements, osteoarthritis in right foot, 10 bouts of uveitis, loads of brain lesions (I am being checked for MS right now), lipoma in the esophagus, kidney stones, sacroiliac joint issues,….

I am an artist – a fashion designer actually. I have worked internationally and had a great career until I moved to a small town 15 years ago. Life is a little slower now but I organize and am creative director of SOMNIATIS Wearable Art Shows.

It has impacted my life, but it has not stopped me from doing anything I really wanted to do – it just made everything more complicated. I even did sky-diving every weekend one summer and I have just returned from a trip to Antarctica!


Ruth Germain
Orillia, Ontario, Canada

2 Responses to “A.S. Face 2050: Ruth Germain”

  1. Dear Ruth,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. Love this photo! thank you for sharing your story. Antarctica… AS isn’t stopping you! Kindest regards, Rich

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