Friday, December 11, 2009

Video of Vicki Nicholls (Hall) on Fox 2 News (Detroit, MI)

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 18 months old. I let this disease control me after I was forced to go on permanent disability at age 30. For the first 3 years I was suffered from severe depression and had several mental breakdowns. I began to self-medicate. Then in 2007 a miracle happened. I got sober. I say a miracle because I was trying to drink the pain away. Obviously, this did not work. My Alcoholism (recognized as a disease by the AMA since 1950) became severe in 2006 until I entered recovery. Since then I decided to devote most of my time volunteering for the Arthritis Foundation as a patient advocate and an Ambassador to the Arthritis Foundation (for the 10th Congressional District). I have a different view of life now (after several near death experiences). I am grateful for everything I have. I am also committed to finding a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis in my lifetime!

2009 has been an unbelievable year of blessings. It all started in May with Matt December of the local Source Newspaper requesting to do a story on me and my fight for a cure for Arthritis. Then, in July, I was invited to a private meeting (with 8 other community volunteers) with President Obama. It didn't stop there. In August, I was asked to write my first story for the Juvenile Arthritis Newsletter. This was my first time being published! Then, last week I did a local Fox 2 Detroit news story for Deena Centofani's HealthWorks series. They are sponsoring this year's Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run/Walk. So I guess you could say 2009 was a great year for the advocacy work I do. I am so grateful for all these blessings. I thank God everyday for these opportunities that have been offered to me. I wanted to share the local news story with everyone so I have a link below to view it. It's less than 2 minutes.

I also wanted to ask that if you are financially able to give a small donation to Team Vicbo in my first Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run/Walk this Saturday at the Covington School in Bloomfield Hills I would greatly appreciate it. The Arthritis Foundation is one of the largest non-profits in the country and is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible. If not (which I completely understand with this horrible economy), can you forward this e-mail to 10 people? There will be lots of prizes for best holiday themed costume and age group prizes for the best times. This is an extremely kid friendly event since 300,000 children in the USA have Juvenile Arthritis. 10,300 children in Michigan alone. Proceeds from this event fund the Annual Camp Dakota in Lapeer, Michigan where children with Arthritis make lifelong friendships, and learn activities they normally cannot participate in. I am going to volunteer for next year's camp.

link to donate or join Team Vicbo

link to Fox 2 News Story:

Happy Holidays!


Vicki Nicholls

Twitter: @teamvicbo

Facebook: Vicki Nicholls

Monday, November 30, 2009

NC State Researchers Advance Understanding Of Stem Cells

Here's an interesting article via Rudy Sims.

Gleaners Food Bank Doubles your donation today

I just donated to Gleaners Food Bank. They are doubling all donations today. Please give to end hunger in America.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jingle Bell Run 2009

The time has come for everyone to put bells on their toes and join in the fun at the 2009 Jingle Bell Run. My team is Team Vicbo at the Jingle Bell Run on December 12, 2009 in Bloomfield, Michigan. This will be my first time for this event. I have participated in the Annual Arthritis Walks in May. I know we will have a huge turnout this year. Here's the link to my page

Friday, November 6, 2009

Affordable Biologics

I just read about this today. We need to get an amendment in the Senate Health Bill to address the costs of biologic drugs (used for cancer, AIDS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.). I am on Enbrel and the co-pay has gone from $50 to $435 per month in just 2 short years. See my posting below "Genocide in America". Please sign this petition to get this amendment added so the severely ill do not have to choose between groceries and medication they need to stay ALIVE!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Genocide in America

We are so close to passing real healthcare reform in this country. We need to keep up the pressure on Congress to get this done THIS year! Please contact your member of Congress and tell them to side with the American voters that elected them (and can un-elect them) and not the Insurance companies that feed their campaign funding. We deserve the CHOICE of a public option. 45,000 American tax-paying citizens die every year from lack of medical insurance (most are denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions). This is genocide of the poor and sick by the companies who are making billions in profits off the American consumer. Enough is enough!

Call Congress today! (202) 224-3121

Link between Arthritis and Heart Disease

How does having Rheumatoid Arthritis affect your chance of developing heart disease? Having Rheumatoid Arthritis is in itself a risk factor for heart disease, just as is diabetes and obesity. What can you do to reduce your risk?

Arthritis and H1N1

This is a great resource for any question related to how having Arthritis affects your chances and the severity of H1N1.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

California awards stem cell grants (via Rudy Sims)

This is awesome news. No mention of Rheumatoid Arthritis in this article but I know we are close. I predict my disease will be curable in 5-10 years with stem cell research. I literally can't wait!

Study Eases Arthritis Drug Cancer Fears

This is great news for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients like me on Remicade, Humira or Enbrel.

Study Eases Arthritis Drug Cancer Fears

Meditation for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Every morning I spend at least an hour in meditation. Meditation helps me release any anxiety about what the day has in store for me. I listen to new age music and do breathing exercises. Try this: 10 minutes every morning, take deep slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth for a count of 5. Do this every day for a week and let me know how it made you feel. With a disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis, we have to keep our mind, body and spirit healthy. Many of us (including me) deal with depression and anxiety due to the pain we have to deal with. But that's just it, we have to deal with it. We cannot ignore it. I have actually brought down my pain levels at times with these breathing exercises.

I also do morning affirmations that cleanse the spirit as well. Try this one:

Look to this day, for it and it life.
In this brief course of this one day lie all the realities of your existence - the joy of living, the splendor of beauty, the glory of action.
Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived will make every yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life.

I'd love to hear what you do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Arthritits Foundation Bone Bash 2009

I would like to thank all the ghouls and goblins who made the Arthritis Foundation's Bone Bash 2009 a great success. We had a blast with the Thriller Dance off. That 80's Band and the Michael Jackson impersonator were awesome! Looking forward to next year!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Day I Met President Obama

The phone rang on a Friday night. The gentleman on the other end said "I have the opportunity of a lifetime for you." My instinct told me right away I was being invited to meet the President, but my mind said, "No Way!" President Obama was scheduled to come to speak at Macomb Community College the following Tuesday and I had been sending out e-mails to contacts to try to get tickets. The man on the phone said I was going to get a private meeting with the President of the United States of America. I almost fainted. My heart was beating a million miles a minute. I knew he was serious when he said you have 10 minutes to get me an e-mail with your info for the secret service to do a background check. I sent the e-mail in 5 minutes!

I was diagnosed with JRA at 18 months old. I am now 35 and on total disability. I graduated from Oakland University and became a CPA. My career was cut short due to a 3 year bout of Colitis and my JRA is not in control because the co-pay for the drug I need is $435 per month. That is why I became involved in the health care debate in Congress. I attended numerous rallies and visited Senator Levin's office in June. I told my story to anyone who would listen and started a blog to share my story with others. I give free advice and support at . I'm not sure how exactly I was selected but I did meet some pretty important people at these health care rallies and I also volunteered during the 2008 campaign season to share my story with my community.

On July 14, 2009, my chance had arrived. I was instructed to meet my contact at the front of the line at Macomb Community College. We had a group of 8 community volunteers who were also invited. After waiting for hours, we got the signal from the secret service to follow them. We were escorted through what seemed like a maze of people, then a maze of hallways lined with black cloth drapes. We were put in a room that had been cleared out and the infamous black cloth drapes blocked the back half of the room that was full of chairs and tables stacked to the ceiling. The secret service agent asked if we had anything to give to the President. I gave him a copy of the Arthritis Foundation's Principles on healthcare reform and an article about my story that was in the local newspaper. After another short wait, we heard his voice in the hallway. We all had the same look on our face and no one talked. He entered the room and we all lit up with smiles. We all got our photos taken by the white house photographer, a handshake and an introduction. I told the President my name, and how honored I was to meet him. He responded "It's very nice to meet you, too." We all took our photos and he spoke to all of us of how important our volunteer work is to the healthcare reform debate. He was very grateful for all our hard work. "The fight's not over yet, we need to keep spreading the message of health care reform. Keep up the good work," he said. I exclaimed, "You can count on us Mr. President!" Then he left the room and went straight out onto the stage to give his speech.

This was a day I will never forget! Thank you Arthritis Foundation for giving me the opportunity to help others with this disease. We may have a disease but it doesn't have to have us!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My health care nightmare!

My name is Vicki Nicholls. I was born with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have lived through many physical and mental struggles because of this disease. I am now 35 and permanently disabled. I did well in school and became a CPA (certified public accountant). At the age of 27, I needed to have a bi-lateral hip replacement. I tried to keep working until my body succumbed to the inevitable result of this crippling disease stopping me from working. This disease is now attacking not only my joints, but my muscles, ligaments, bones and organs. Most Rheumatoid Arthritis patients are disabled within 10 years of their diagnosis. 2.1 million people have this disease in the US.

Rheumatoid Arhtritis patients have been increasingly discriminated against by private insurance companies. Many insurance policies have a waiver that Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments are not covered. I am now on Medicare and do not worry about being discriminated against because it is a government plan. The part D of Medicare, however, is actually a private component. I use Blue Cross Advantage for part D. All part D policies have a "donut hole" which means after they spend $2,300 on prescriptions they stop covering the patient until they reach $4,100 in prescription costs. So now, I have no drug coverage for brand name drugs. I am in the donut hole. All of the new Rheumatoid Arthritis drugs cost from $1,000 - $3,000 per month. This is not affordable for people who rely on disability income to survive. My disease is progressing faster and I am in need of treatment immediately. This is health care in America.

Without Health Care Reform I will soon need nursing care. This will cost the taxpayers much more than if my medication was covered. Without treatment, many surgeries are soon to come. I already need both my knees operated on as a direct result of me not being able to get the treatment I so desperately need. I live in extreme pain and exhaustion due to not having my treatments. This is my last hope. There are treatments. They are not available, however, for the disabled that need them.

My fellow Americans, please understand health care is a right, not a privilege.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Health Care Rally this Friday

I want to invite everyone to a health care rally at Dodge Park in Sterling Heights, MI, this Friday June 26th from 4-7 pm ...FREE FOOD (healthy of course)!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act of 2009

Attention all Arthritis Sufferers:

Do you have Arthritis? 46 million Americans have one or more forms of the 100 different forms of Arthritis. I know. I am just one. I was born with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis 35 years ago. I have suffered tremendously at the hands of this progressive, incurable disease. It is now time for me to put up my dukes and fight. Not just for me, for all the patients who are too disabled to fight for themselves. I have endured 35 years of discrimination from many sources: students, teachers, family, friends but most of all strangers staring. No one quite knows how to react when they hear my story. That's why I'm gonna keep on tellin' it. I want people to stop looking at me like I'm joking or I'm flat out lying, when I say "I was born with Arthritis". This is not an old person's disease. 300,000 children in the US has one form or another of Juvenile Arhtritis. We need not be ashamed. It is not our fault. No one is to blame. There, no more blaming.

How do we fix this problem? First things first, pass the Arthritis, Prevention, Control and Cure Act of 2009 (S984). This is a must! Please follow this link and READ THE BILL! Then, call your Senators to co-sponsor this bill. We almost had it passed last year but the economy fell apart. If you need any information on arthrits the best place to start is This is the website to the Arthritis Foundation. They are there to help us. They have given me a new lease on life and I will always be grateful to them for showing me I can make a difference. If I can do it, you can do it to! Peace and Blessings, Vicki

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Get Sick-Go Bankrupt! The American Way

Hi Everyone,

These statistics are scary.  Please forward this article to as many people as possible.  If we are all paying so much in insurance, co-pays, deductibles, etc.  Why don't we pay ourselves the money (taxes, we actually ARE the government and own all assets) instead of lining the fatcats on wall street (insurance giants like AIG, who we had to pay anyway, again).  This is what a single payer system would actually do.  I have done research on other countries health systems.  Ever notice how the new and exciting research studies come from Europe? They have it right when it comes to health care.  The insurance companies are scared they won't be able to get their million dollar bonuses anymore, once the taxpayers figure out that the government insurance is BETTER and cheaper than private.  I know, I have had both.  Please let me know your opinions!

How to Use Twitter to Track Chronic Pain Levels by Lisa Copen

This is a great idea for those of us in chronic pain sitting on our couch using a laptop, sound familiar?  I'm gonna start using this.  My Dr's are gonna freak!  It will make their job so much easier.  Thanks to Lisa Copen for writing this! You go girl!

10 tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis Caregivers

This a great article about how to keep your sanity as a caregiver to a rheumatoid arthritis patient:

A new day of gratitude

Today's Gratitude List:

I am grateful to God for giving me a new day
I am grateful for my sobriety, without it I have nothing
I am grateful for my husband
I am grateful for my family and friends
I am grateful for this new outlet to meet the the rest of the world
I am grateful for my disease, without difficulties life would be boring
I am grateful for my openmindedness
I am grateful for all of you
Vicki Nicholls

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary.  I am so blessed to be married to my best friend.  We have had an amazing 3 years and will have many more to come.  

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

STOP discrimination!

Many insurance companies think they have the right to not cover Rheumatoid Arthritis.  This is pure discrimination.  300,000 children in America suffer from Juvenile Arthritis.  I was born with this disease.  Please go viral with this info.  Vicki Nicholls, Angels for Arthritis 

Morning Everyone!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  I am so blessed to be able to connect with so many people who understand me.  Thanks to all readers of this blog.  You help me every day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another surgery on the horizon

Just went to Dr.. I will have to get a synovectomy.  They take out most of the synovium in my knees.  Anyone had or know someone that had this done?  Would welcome any comments, thanks!  Vicki

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Questions about arthritis? Just ask.

Please feel free to let me know what YOU want to see on my blog.  This blog is for YOU! I promise if I don't know the answer to your question, I can and will point you in the right direction :)

Join the fight to cure Rheumatoid Arthritis!

May is Arthritis Awareness Month.  I just did the 2009 Arthritis Walk.  It was a great time.  We need everyone's support who knows someone who suffers from the 100 different forms of Arthritis.  Please visit my donation page for more information on my fight for a cure.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hi Everyone!

This is my very first entry in my very first blog, let me know if you have any ideas