“Laughter is the best medicine.” We’ve all heard this axiom, but radio host Dan Malito, who suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis, took this as a call to action. Hoping to provide relief to himself and others who suffer from a debilitating illness, he uses his unique take on the world to make people laugh, cry, and think.
Dan’s history with disease started early - he was eleven years old when, after two years of flu-like symptoms — including fever, chills, and joint aches —his parents finally heard the diagnosis: juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), now known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
"My disease has been fairly aggressive," he says. ''It took until four or five years ago to find medicines that work for me." The road's been rough and long, but also strange and poignant. Dan has endured high doses of prednisone to calm arthritis flare-ups, which caused a 90-pound weight gain. Large and definitely not in charge, Dan was blown-up, fed-up, and thought about cashing out. With no other recourse, when someone mentioned that writing and keeping a journal could help, Dan, now 38, sat down and started writing. That was one blog and a book ago, (So Young: A Life Lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis), and it’s still coming out. Of everywhere.
The Telling Company is proud to share Dan’s stories with you through these podcasts. In Dan’s words, "I try to find common ground through humor so people can see that the handicapped really do have the same issues as other people. Hopefully people will listen, chuckle and not even realize they're learning about arthritis at the same time."