Background Young people with a musculoskeletal disease all over the world have to cope with many different hindrances every day. School, education and starting a professional career – young people with arthritis are confronted with barriers in every aspect of life. Especially hindrances regarding a professional career are very difficult to overcome.
Objectives Besides sharing my personal experience of managing an education, starting a professional career and living with a chronic disease, I will tell about other young rheumatics in Germany. Including obstacles in daily life, mental barriers will be revealed and a view into a complex system of different interests, helping hands and hindrances will be given.
Methods In 2009 the Deutsche Rheuma-Liga conducted a survey among young rheumatics and their parents in order to gain a closer look at their health care situation, their education and working situation. In autumn 2014 a conference for young rheumatics and their parents was held and focused on the working situation and the labour law.
Results The results of the survey (Versorgungssituation rheumakranker Kinder und … Junger Rheumatiker) of the Deutsche Rheuma-Liga have been collected and can be studied online. Equally the workshop of young rheumatics and their parents in 2014 has been documented and is accessible online.
Conclusions Suffering from a chronic disease - like a musculoskeletal one – and starting a professional career needs helping hands in many different parts of daily life. But it is not an unsolvable problem. There are still a lot of deficits – in our minds as well as in our educational and work systems – but with patience and active demands to reduce these deficits, they can become challenges.
Disclosure of Interest None declared