Experience speaks volumes and Arthritis Foundation Certified Instructor, Donna Amos, has 34 years of experience living with rheumatoid arthritis. That’s right. She lives with it, but she does not let it control who she is. In fact, living with Arthritis allows her to better connect with the members in her class. She can identify with them and anticipate rough patches they may experience.
In Her Own Words
“Life is best lived with purpose and I am blessed to purposely share and teach others with arthritis how to be positive and active each and every day. This wasn’t always the case.
About thirteen years ago, I was at home, no longer able to maintain my career as secretary, due to arthritis. I was miserable! I have had six surgeries on my right hand and, following one of those surgeries, I was referred to the Cantrell Center. My physical therapist was and still is: Mary Oakley. She patiently worked with me to increase function in my hand. During one of my appointments Mary told me that the Cantrell Center was going to build a new facility with a pool. By then, I had already worked with the Arthritis Foundation some and helped with a local Arthritis Support Group.
I had recently become aware that they offered certification to teach the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program. It was decided that I should try out a similar program being taught to see if I could do it. I did it and liked it! We began by reaching out to our physical therapy patients to see if they would be interested in trying out the program. The classes began with three to four people, that’s it. Today we have on roll in each class 40 members!!!! From such a small beginning 3 to 80!! WOW!!!
The joy I see on members faces as they come in the pool area and see their friends is very fulfilling. But even better is when a member tells me they can now do something that they could not do before attending these classes. God has truly blessed me as an instructor and as a friend to all those that have attended in the past and are currently attending these classes.”
-Donna Amos, Arthritis Foundation Certified Aquatic Instructor