Dilene Webster Medical Help
Hi my name is Dilene, I am 30 years of age this October. I grew up in a small town in the Free
State in South Africa and currently reside in the beautiful coastal town of St Lucia.WHAT
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
When I was 23 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogrens disease. At age 27 they added ankylosing spondylitis to mix and recently aged 29 fibromyalgia. They are all auto immune conditions and have no cure.
WHAT ARE THESE DISEASES
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system –
which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses –
mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the
inside of joints (the synovium) to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the
joints. The synovium makes a fluid that lubricates joints and helps them move smoothly.
If inflammation goes unchecked, it can damage cartilage, the elastic tissue that covers the ends
of bones in a joint, as well as the bones themselves. Over time, there is loss of cartilage, and the
joint spacing between bones can become smaller. Joints can become loose, unstable, painful
and lose their mobility. Joint deformity also can occur. Joint damage cannot be reversed, and
because it can occur early, doctors recommend early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to
Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees
and ankles. The joint effect is usually symmetrical. That means if one knee or hand if affected,
usually the other one is, too. Because RA also can affect body systems, such as the
cardiovascular or respiratory systems, it is called a systemic disease. Systemic means “entire
Who’s Affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis?
About 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nearly three times
as many women have the disease as men. In women, RA most commonly begins between ages
30 and 60. In men, it often occurs later in life. Having a family member with RA increases the
odds of having RA; however, the majority of people with RA have no family history of the
Ankylosing spondylitis (pronounced ank-kih- low-sing spon-dill- eye-tiss), or AS, is a form of
arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes
inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and
In more advanced cases this inflammation can lead to ankylosis -- new bone formation in the
spine -- causing sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position.
AS can also cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in other areas of the body such as the
shoulders, hips, ribs, heels, and small joints of the hands and feet. Sometimes the eyes can
become involved (known as iritis or uveitis), and -- rarely -- the lungs and heart can be affected.
The hallmark feature of ankylosing spondylitis is the involvement of the sacroiliac (SI) joints
during the progression of the disease. The SI joints are located at the base of the spine, where
the spine joins the pelvis.
How does this affect me?
Well the above is the science behind it, living with the disease is a completely different story, I
have been diagnosed with a very aggressive strain which means that I will become permanently
disabled eventually but with treatment there is hope to slow the progression of the disease.
In 2011 live looked pretty bleek to me, I battled to get around un aided, couldn’t dry my own
hair holding a hair dryer, battled driving around and was bed ridden for a lot of the time. I was
sick and didn’t have a lot of hope. I took many different medications over the years with little relief.
In October 2016 the doctor said… we have exhausted all means of trying to slow the disease
without much luck, it may be a far shot but let’s apply for biologics from the medical board.
WHAT IS BIOLOGICS??
My face was absolute to confusion the first time the doctor mentioned this, but for the first
time I heard some type of hopeful talk for patients like me, doctors are pretty straight forward
She explained that because my medical aid fell into
plan I fell into a very special class of patients and that she wouldn’t even of bothered
mentioning the drug if it wasn’t for the funding from the medical aid.
She explained there are different classes of medication and that this was like business class for
She says because they could prove I have been on chronic medication for six years straight
without major uplift they could apply.
They would however need to motivate the medication for me and that the application could go
either way, It took six months of tests and letters from the top Physician in South Africa to get
me approved for this .
One day I got the phone call, a lady called Sheryl, she said I had been approved and that I would
need to get admitted into hospital for the final stage of the process, it was simple, they had to
rule out any infection or I would die from the medication. Sounds soothing, she said that she
was from now on out my ENBREL nurse and that she would check in with me once a week to
check if I was still alive. I’m still alive and speak to Sheryl once a week, we Whatsapp, facebook
and are well acquainted by now.
The science behind the medication
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about ENBREL?
ENBREL is a medicine that affects your immune system. ENBREL can lower the ability of your
immune system to fight infections. Serious infections have happened in patients taking ENBREL.
These infections include tuberculosis (TB) and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria
that have spread throughout the body. Some patients have died from these infections. Your
healthcare provider should test you for TB before you take ENBREL and monitor you closely for
TB before, during, and after ENBREL treatment, even if you have tested negative for TB.
There have been some cases of unusual cancers reported in children and teenage patients who
started using tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers before 18 years of age. Also, for children,
teenagers, and adults taking TNF blockers, including ENBREL, the chances of getting lymphoma
or other cancers may increase. Patients with RA may be more likely to get lymphoma.
Before starting ENBREL, tell your healthcare provider if you:
Have any existing medical conditions
Are taking any medicines, including herbals
Think you have, are being treated for, have signs of, or are prone to infection. You
should not start taking ENBREL if you have any kind of infection, unless your healthcare
provider says it is okay
Have any open cuts or sores
Have diabetes, HIV, or a weak immune system
Have TB or have been in close contact with someone who has had TB
Were born in, lived in, or traveled to countries where there is more risk for getting TB.
Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure
Live, have lived in, or traveled to certain parts of the country (such as, the Ohio and
Mississippi River valleys, or the Southwest) where there is a greater risk for certain kinds
of fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis. These infections may develop or become
more severe if you take ENBREL. If you don’t know if these infections are common in the
areas you’ve been to, ask your healthcare provider
Have or have had hepatitis B
Have or have had heart failure
Develop symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness while taking
Use the medicine Kineret ® (anakinra), Orencia ® (abatacept), or Cytoxan ®
Are taking anti-diabetic medicines
Have, have had, or develop a serious nervous disorder, seizures, any numbness or
tingling, or a disease that affects your nervous system such as multiple sclerosis or
Are scheduled to have surgery
Have recently received or are scheduled for any vaccines. All vaccines should be brought
up-to- date before starting ENBREL. Patients taking ENBREL should not receive live
Are allergic to rubber or latex
Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
Have been around someone with chicken pox
What are the possible side effects of ENBREL?
ENBREL can cause serious side effects including: New infections or worsening of infections you
already have; hepatitis B can become active if you already have had it; nervous system
problems, such as multiple sclerosis, seizures, or inflammation of the nerves of the eyes; blood
problems (some fatal); new or worsening heart failure; new or worsening psoriasis; allergic
reactions; autoimmune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome and autoimmune hepatitis.
Common side effects include: Injection site reactions and upper respiratory infections (sinus
In general, side effects in children were similar in frequency and type as those seen in adult
patients. The types of infections reported were generally mild and similar to those usually seen
These are not all the side effects with ENBREL. Tell your healthcare provider about any side
effect that bothers you or does not go away.
If you have any questions about this information, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare
provider. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800- FDA-1088.
Please see Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.
Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting
worse, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active
rheumatoid arthritis. ENBREL can be taken with methotrexate or used alone.
Moderately to Severely Active Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active
polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children ages 2 years and older.
ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting
worse, and improving physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis. ENBREL can be used
with or without methotrexate.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing
THE MEDICATION IS NOT AVAILBLE FROM THE STATE.
YOU ARE APPROVED FOR THIS TREATMENT IT IS NOT SIMPLY A TRIP TO THE DOCTOR OFFICE
THE MEDICATION IS EXPENSIVE – AROUND R 9000 PER MONTH
MY MEDICAL AID IS R5000 PER MONTH AND COVERS THE MEDICATION WITHOUT ANY CO PAYMENT FROM ME
SO LOGICALLY A MEDICAL AID IS THE WAY TO GO
What am I asking for?
Anybody that can help me financially to keep my medical aid going
Why am I asking?
Because I cant afford treatment
Before my parents were able to support me financially and can no longer do so
If you have any more questions please give me a shout
If you want to help me you can do an online donation through paypal
Dilene Medical Account
for info on the medication please look at
I cannot explain my gratitude to everyone helping me.
Please understand that this is life changing treatment
for me and you’re helping safe my life. How do you ever
say thank you for that.