Kathryn Douglas

My name is Kathryn, and I am a fourth year Biology major at the University of British Columbia. I hope to start working towards my Masters degree in Neurobiology next year. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

After 7 years of joint pain and fatigue, an X-ray in 2009 showed erosion of my SI joints, and I was diagnosed with AS at age 19. I am currently taking celebrex and Humira (which has recently given me Tumid Lupus – you can see a few red spots on my hand in the picture) to manage my symptoms

Before my diagnosis, I had been a competitive freestyle skier, avid downhill mountain biker, novice rock climber and overall adrenaline junkie. The biggest adjustment with this disease was quitting those sports and keeping myself on the ground and out of the sky. I have trouble standing, walking or sitting for a long time, and using my hands for writing, buttons, opening jars, etc. These days, I enjoy hiking and camping and hope to get into cross-country skiing this winter.

-Kathryn Douglas

British Columbia, Canada

4 Responses to “Kathryn Douglas”

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

  2. Hi Kathryn! Thanks for sharing your story! I was just diagnosed with AS one week ago.
    Am also in Vancouver. Do you know of any support groups in the area? Have you tried yoga for your AS?
    Anita Percell

    • Hi Anita,

      I just noticed your comment – sorry it took so long to reply! I believe there is an arthritis support group in Surrey (I saw that on the Arthriis Foundation website), but I haven’t found one in Vancouver itself unfortunately. I really wish there was!

      I absolutely love yoga; I forgot to put that in my blurb! I definitely notice a difference if I exercise and eat healthy, and yoga is a big part of that for me. If you haven’t tried it already, I recommend it. It can be a bit expensive in Vancouver, but lululemon stores often have free classes 🙂

  3. Hi Kathryn, I was born in Calgary too and living in Vancouver now…found your AS videos on YouTube yesterday. I’ve had AS for about 20 years and am planning on getting on Humira next week. Just read how Humira caused you to develop skin lupus. Have you tried switching to another biologic? There’s a new biologic that was just approved here in Canada earlier this year called Cosentyx. I asked my rheumatologist to prescribe it but she suggested I try Humira first since it’s been on the market longer. The thing that I like about Cosentyx is that it’s not a TNF blocker which can cause skin lupus. Instead it’s a IL-17A blocker. I’m gonna try Humira for a year and hopefully switch to Cosentyx since apparently it’s just as effective for AS as Humira but with less dangerous side effects – less cancer risk too.

    – Eduardo

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