Frederick, MD (PressExposure) October 06, 2008 -- October 15 marks the birthday of the Queen of comedy. Lucille Ball left a legacy on film and TV that has continued long after her death in 1989. As a 17 year old girl, Ms. Ball traveled to New York City to follow her dreams of becoming an actress. To make ends meet she worked as a model and as a chorus line girl.
Shortly after arriving in New York City, she developed leg pains that were so excruciating, she was unable to stand. After seeing a physician at Columbia University, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and prescribed horse serum injections. Because of her debilitating illness, Ms. Ball moved back home to Jamestown, New York where she continued treatment with the horse serum and vigorous massage.
Eventually the arthritis improved, but not before leaving her with a crippled left leg and residual pain.
"Today, the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is not the devastating sentence it was during the time when Lucille Ball had the disease. Newer biologic therapies have improved our ability to get most patients into remission quickly," states Dr. Nathan Wei.
"In fact, it is the norm rather than the exception for us to control the disease quickly and prevent the deformity that used to occur regularly with this disease. We also recognize that since it is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect other organ systems, it is important to be aggressive," concludes Dr. Wei.