Efstathia (Effie) Koliopoulos is a writer, vlogger, and patient and awareness advocate, who has been living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for almost 15 years. Having that the disease continued well into her adult years, she now refers to it as rheumatoid arthritis as seen on her website, “Rising Above rheumatoid arthritis,” which she owns. For years those closest to Effie would mention that her story needed to be told, however she was hesitant and didn’t feel comfortable doing so. She would find comfort however, in reading other people’s stories on various message boards and blogs. While doing so, Effie realized a prevailing theme; people genuinely wanted to seek and give guidance and support. It wouldn’t be until recovering from a total knee replacement in 2016, that inspiration would strike to start sharing her own journey in order to do the same, which eventually led to the creation of her blog and social media channels.
Effie has worked for the Arthritis Foundation Greater Chicago Chapter, advocated in her state capital, is an ambassador for Suffering the Silence, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, InvisiYouth Charity, a Cure Arthritis crew member, to name a few. Some of her written work has been featured in Yahoo Lifestyle, The Mighty and X10 Meta Blog. She has been interviewed by Health Monitor for the, Guide to RA Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, on her tips for living well with the disease. She has a YouTube channel called, RA & Myself, which was partly inspired by the belief that illness does not have to define who you are, as it’s only a part of your story. Effie encourages and empowers those living with invisible or visible illnesses, to continue being their authentic selves. While she may be the, “new kid on the block” within the blogging world, her real-life experience dealing with rheumatoid arthritis is anything but new. She has made it her mission to help those with arthritis, autoimmune arthritis, chronic illness and disability, rise above these conditions.
In staying true herself, Effie strives to continue doing what she loves even if that means needing to make modifications along the way. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, helping others, traveling, being in nature, going on daily walks, cooking, baking, nutrition, fashion, music, animals, dogs, faith and spirituality. Effie resides in Chicago and is currently working on a few creative projects.