Lasting Impact Delivered by OSC - Story of Hong Kong Arthritis & Rheumatism Foundation
Before the age of 13, Felice was similar to other teenagers. She loved to hike, swim, hang out with friends and spend time volunteering. This all changed when she was rushed to A&E and diagnosed with Still’s disease, a rare disorder with an incidence of just 0.0006%.
Felice’s life came to a halt after the diagnosis. She experienced adverse side effects to the medication she was prescribed, as well as loneliness, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Luckily, Felice’s mother encouraged her to seek help from a clinical psychologist and though her journey to recovery was tough, her friends and family were on hand to support her throughout. Finally, after a risky yet successful autologous bone marrow transplant, Felice began to regain a normal life. In recognition of her courage, the Hong Kong Arthritis & Rheumatism Foundation (HKARF) made her an ambassador in 2007.
When Felice came across Laughter Yoga – a form of yoga that helps improve joint and muscle movement as well as relieve mental stress – she immediately realised it could be advantageous for rheumatic patients. She decided to train as a Laughter Yoga instructor and then approached HKARF with an idea; why not offer Laughter Yoga classes?
In 2016 Operation Santa Claus made Felice’s idea a reality, by funding HKARF’s ‘Arthritis Buddy, Energetic Life’ Laughter Yoga teaching project. Now, other people coping with rheumatism and arthritis can experience the benefits of this fun, simple exercise that helps boost both body and mind. For many, this will be a huge step forward in the recovery process.