Nicole Santamore

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Nicole is a 22-year-old mother of two children with autism, who has been experiencing chronic pain since adolescence in result of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). AS is a type of arthritis that affects mostly the sacroiliac joints and lumbar spine that eventually causes SI joint fusion and lumbar vertebral fusion. Nicole has tried various steroids, medications and injections to help with pain, however they have had little to no positive effects. Having two young children, Nicole has avoided opiate pain medications due to the side effects. Nicole has found some relief through medical marijuana and exercising. With the help of her family, Nicole has kept a positive outlook on life and has been able to be an active mother in her children’s lives.

Portraits of Pain: Nicole Santamore