Musician relates autoimmune struggle
Only after obtaining the correct diagnosis was Reynolds — who has an autoimmune disease called ankylosing spondylitis (AS) — able to plan effectively for treatment and recovery.
His condition stems from a chronic inflammation of the joints and indeed has a genetic component, with Reynolds’ two siblings also diagnosed. He visited many specialists in search of answers before his brother suggested the possibility of AS.
The onset of Reynolds’ condition at age 21 coincided with the trajectory of his band’s success, often interfering with show engagements. At first he felt that his condition was stigmatizing and kept it under wraps.
“I didn’t want to admit to myself, or to anybody, that I was struggling with a disease,” the musician said.
Now age 29 and completely open about the disease, however, Reynolds wants to advocate for others struggling with symptoms — even hosting an online talk show to encourage patients to reach out.
He is careful to stay active, eat a healthy diet and practice yoga, noting that those with the condition each need to work out an optimal, individualized routine.
“I have a chance to really raise awareness and help people that are just becoming diagnosed to see that there’s actually light at the end of the tunnel,” he said about his show, “This AS Life Live!,” produced in partnership with the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) and Novartis.
Organizations in this story
U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce 2125 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Novartis Corporate Communications 230 Park Avenue, 21st Floor NY, NY 10169