Dan Reynolds, lead singer of the Grammy award-winning rock band Imagine Dragons, is partnering with the Spondylitis Association of America and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation to launch This AS Life Live!, the first interactive talk show for patients with AS by patients with AS.
This AS Life Live! aims to increase awareness of AS, the impact it can have on people and the importance of appropriate disease management.
“When I started to have symptoms of AS, my band was just beginning to take off and I was newly married. From the outside, everything was going great for me, but what many people didn’t know was that I was often in severe pain that left me unable to sleep at night or move around on stage – something that was very unlike me,” said Reynolds. “Because it doesn’t exhibit any external signs or symptoms, AS truly is an invisible disease. It nearly took away many of my life’s biggest joys, like holding my child and performing live on stage.”
AS is a chronic inflammatory condition that can lead to severe pain and discomfort.1 Reynolds was diagnosed with AS at age 20 when a family member recognized his symptoms and advised him to see a doctor. He has been living with AS and managing his symptoms for nearly ten years, and is the third member of his family to be diagnosed with the disease.
“I am stoked to be a part of this new series, and help bring the realities of the AS patient experience to life. The challenges I have faced are what drive my passion to discuss my experiences and be a part of the larger AS patient community,” said Reynolds. “I hope that This AS Life Live! will provide much-needed information and support to patients and their caregivers.”
Each episode of the series will feature Reynolds interviewing a different patient, focusing on a unique aspect of their daily life with AS, such as exercise, relationships, the workplace and physician visits. Episodes of This AS Life Live! will air on ThisASLife.com – a vibrant, online global community that provides a supportive environment for patients. In addition to the episodes, the website offers:
· Disease information and symptom management tips
· Tips on improving doctor/patient communication
· Lifestyle management tips written by AS patients and expert rheumatologists from around the world to help more patients stay healthy with their disease
Episodes will also be available on StopAS.org.
“We are excited to partner with Novartis on This AS Life Live! to drive awareness and encourage a stronger patient-physician dialogue,” said Richard Howard, Associate Executive Director of the Spondylitis Association of America and an AS patient. “It is critical that people who live with or are at risk of developing AS are educated and empowered to speak with their doctors about how to effectively manage the disease. Our hope is that This AS Life Live! will inspire more conversations about this often-overlooked and misdiagnosed condition.”
In the United States, more than one million people are impacted by the disease. AS usually begins in patients between the ages of 20 and 30, but can occur as late as 40 to 50. In the most advanced AS cases, the inflammation of the spinal joints causes the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position, sometimes creating a stooped posture.
“Those living with the painful, but often outwardly invisible signs and symptoms of AS need to know that they are not alone in their fight to best manage their disease,” said Fabrice Chouraqui, US President at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, “At Novartis, we are honored to work with the Spondylitis Association of America and Dan Reynolds on This AS Life Live! to encourage the community to share their stories and offer the needed support and resources to bring awareness to this hidden disease.”