THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
… that despite all of life's hardships,
they are optimistic about every step of their life.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
that felt the pain of
having weights tied to their limbs...
… but kept weaving
the thread of life with a smile.
… that the needle of pain
pierced their limbs...
… but never made it to their soul.
If you peak through the window of life …
… there are people that
lavishly persist in love.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
that in the hours of silence…
... sculpted stone & wood
to reflect the pain.
That gave *Gafaris a shape…
* Gafaris was a mythical monster that resided in Zaros' canyon in the land of Crete.
… and stamped every feeling of fear
and cowardice from within them.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
that their lust for life…
… gives them the strength to stand tall.
… and when the surroundings seem like stone,
can distinguish the beauty beyond.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
that tamed the flame of pain…
... and rewinded the watch of time.
… like a scene from an old cinema movie.
… always await optimistically
… and even if some of the rose petals of youth
were lost in the passage of time…
… the garden of their soul
remains forever blooming.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
… that turned the arrows of pain
into sugarpaste
concocting sweet centerpieces…
… that never lost
their humor…
… and keep standing tall in life's hardships
coloring its sweet aspects.
That took off
the mask …
… and truly achieved
the up until then impossible.
If you look behind the beehive
called life… you can see the pain
& sweetness…
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE THOUGH,
that are not afraid of the sting.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
that got trapped, unfolding
the tangle of life…
… but as you walk below their window,
they will always welcome you with a smile.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
that never lost
their faith …
who keep alive their love for activities …
and it gives color to their passage of life.
… that will always
paint their reflection smiling …
… that if you look behind their every artwork
you can see the love deep inside their heart.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
… that despite losing their body's straightness,
over the years,
they forever keep the
leaves of their soul spread.
… that broke free of the decaying wooden prison.
… and spread wide smiles
as you meet them.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE,
that created their own admirable world...
....and they were the lead actors in the
puppetry of life.
… that wore laces, silk and gave color
to the performance of their life.
… marching alongside invaluable friends.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE...
that nostalgically remember
their youth...
… and paint in the canvas of life
with golden colors.
Pursuing happiness,
in the passage of life …
… finding the right ingredients
requires strength, faith, persistence and courage.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE...
… that no matter how much their fingers bend,
their gaze can not hide.
Climbing the mountain every day
requires fortitude...
… and harvesting life's honey every day.
SOME PEOPLE...
saw their life in ruins...
… and started trying again
from the scratch with worn tools.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE...
… that force their nerves, muscles and heart
to work for them...
… even when some times
they appear to fail them.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE...
that every passing and relentlessly fleeting minute...
they do whatever they can in the ninety beats.
… and the land is theirs
alongside everything it has...
… but there is more- they are honest people
with a peaceful soul …

There Are Some People...

Photographic album from People With Rheumatoid Diseases Association Of Crete

 
Katerina Koutsogianni

The Instigator Of The Project

There are some people that did not choose to live every day with pain, immobility and helplessness. They chose however, to transform these hardships into strength, joy and optimism about life, artistic creation. When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a 29 years old young woman with dreams and lust for life, creations and new experiences I could not accept that this difficult disease would accompany me for all my life, preventing me from living my life the way I wanted to. At first I almost hated that ill-natured companion that came all of a sudden, without any warning to turn my life upside down and take my dreams away from me! But with time I made peace with it, almost conquered it and I can now say that I feel lucky it came to my life. Lucky because I got to learn myself better, came face to face with my powers and understood the incredible power that we all have inside waiting for the opportunity to come out. Lucky because I met all these extraordinary people that made the impossible possible! Nikos, Sofia, Stella, Eleni, Marianna, Irina, Amalia, Vaggelio, Elpida and so many others that overcome everyday difficulties with courage and dignity and transform them into creation and work. So meet these people and try to understand with the help of these magnificent photographs their pain, their effort but most of all the power that all these people have inside of them. Our people!

OUR PROTAGONISTS

NIKOS KAPSALIS

HERAKLION, CRETE

SOFIA RAPTAKI

HERAKLION, CRETE

MARIANNA HOUSTOULAKI

HERAKLION, CRETE

ELPIDA TSOURLIDAKI

CHANIA, CRETE

STELLA MICHALA

RETHYMNO, CRETE

AMALIA TSAKAKI

CHANIA, CRETE

ELENI YIALITAKI

HERAKLION, CRETE

VAGGELIO ANTHROULAKI

AGIOS NIKOLAOS, CRETE

IRINA BELIGORCKAIA

HERAKLION, CRETE

There are some people
Watch the video.

A couple of words about Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that attacks the joints and other parts of the body with serious consequences on health and quality of life of patients. If it is not treated timely and effectively, with the supervision of a rheumatologist, the inflammation can destroy the cartilage, the bones and the joints and all these can lead in damage of the affected joints, serious reduction of patient's mobility and functionality and even in serious disability.

It is the most common inflammatory disease of joints. It is estimated that it infects around one out of a hundred people worldwide, with a frequency three times greater in women than in men. In Europe it is estimated that more than 2,9 million people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, whereas in Greece the number of patients is estimated to be around 70.000. The disease targets all age groups, but it mostly manifests in ages between 35 and 55 years of age. The exact causes of the disease still remain unknown. Recent studies have shown that it is linked to a combination of genetic, hormone, microbial and environmental factors, without being possible to determine the exact role of each one of them. Genetic predisposition seems to have a role, since there is a greater chance of the disease appearing in family members of at least one diagnosed occurrence of it.

Rheumatoid arthritis can manifest itself as either a chronic or an acute disease. In the first case, the patient manifests initially fatigue, stiffness and pain in joints, especially during daytime, after resting periods or after staying in immobility for some time. This pain then starts gradually aggravating in just a few weeks. In the second case, sudden and intense inflammation of multiple joints appears simultaneously, without any previous warning signs.

The signs of an inflamed joint consist of pain, swelling, increase of temperature as well as reduced mobility and functionality. Most frequently affects the joints of the fingers, toes, wrists, ankles and knees, usually symmetrically. A distinctive feature of the disease is the morning stiffness of the joints, that lasts for more than one hour after waking up or extended immobility.

Spondyloarthropathies

Spondyloarthropathies or seronegative arthropathies constitute a group of diseases that have some common characteristics, meaning similar clinical manifestations and laboratory findings and are treated by rheumatologists as well. These diseases are Axial spondyloarthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Reactive arthritis, Enteropathic arthritis (related to Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis) and the undifferentiated arthritis.[1]

In Greece it is estimated that around 41.000 people suffer from Ankylosing spondylitis and Psoriatic arthritis.

[1] Encyclopedia of Autoimmune Diseases [Charalambos Moutsopoulos].

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis is a disease of the immune system as well. It is characterized by inflammation in the joints (Arthritis) as well as in the skin (Psoriasis). It can cause pain and swelling in the joints and psoriatic plaques in the skin. In most patients, skin symptoms appear first, followed by arthritis' symptoms or they appear simultaneously. The percentage of patients with plaque psoriasis that can develop Psoriatic Arthritis in their lifetime is around 30%.[1][2]

The disease affects men and women equally. It is diagnosed most frequnetly between 30 and 50 years of age, but can also be observed in younger or older people.

Psoriatic Arthritis is manifested with inflammatory signs such as pain, swelling, morning stiffness and tenderness when the joints are examined.

[1] Mease P. TNF-α therapy in psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004;63 :755 -758
[2] Mease P, Goffe BS. Diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis. J Am Acad Derm.2005;52 :1-19.

Axial Spondyloarthritis

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the spine, the joints between pelvis and spine as well as the thorax. It can also attack the hips, shoulders and knees, and less frequently the small peripheral joints. It usually affects young adults, people between the ages of 15 and 30, and it affects more men than women.

The cause of the disease is not identified. However, it seems that genetic and environmental factors contribute both to the development of the disease.

The most common symptom of Ankylosing Spondylitis is inflammatory back pain. This particular back pain due to inflammation has the following characteristics: worsens with rest, improves with exercise, is more intense during the second half of the night and can wake the patient up. It is accompanied by morning stiffness, meaning that the patient displays difficulty in movemants when they wake up. The pain expands from the pelvis and spin to the rear region of the thighs.

Chronic spinal cord inflammation (in vertebra, joints, tendons) can lead to the growth of new bone in these areas, resulting in permanent deformation of the sacroiliac joints in lumbar, thoracic, cervical spine and these changes can be seen in a radiography of the joint of the pelvis.

Axial Spondyloarthritis also includes another disease, Non-radiographically confirmed Axial Spondyloarthritis that can be expresses with inflammatory back pain (like Ankylosing Spondylitis), but the changes in x-ray are not visible. In this case, a magnetic resonance imaging test of the pelvis joints and spine may be required, to establish the diagnosis of this disease.

There are some people
Giorgos Kosmas

THE CREATOR OF THE PROJECT

A summer afternoon I found myself with Katerina in a restaurant in the picturesque streets of Heraklion city. While being there, I had the chance to listen for the first time about rheumatic diseases and the people that have to face them everyday. “I wish we could artistically approach these people”, Katerina told me. “... to approach the willpower , the lust for life and at the same time remind everyone how close black and white really are, health and disease... If even one person could change their attitude to life, appreciate more how important it is for these people to get their much needed medication in time, would be to our benefit!”

I traveled in Crete for a month and met one by one the protagonists of this album. They talked to me about their life, their pain, how they feel and every one of them showed me their talents. I tried to capture and present to you every tiny moment. The person that changed their attitude to life was me.

What else could I say...
a huge thank you to the people in Crete that opened their doors to me, but more so their hearts, teaching me the power of will and the art of life.