Research has shown that people who receive support from a social network cope better, feel more in control, and have better outcomes than those who are isolated. Those who live with myositis, however, face the difficulty of dealing with a chronic illness plus the extra challenge of having a rare disease that most people have never heard of. Because the disease is so rare, it can be hard to find others who understand what you are going through and the challenges posed by myositis. TMA offers a variety of ways for you to connect with others who live with myositis. While we do not give each other medical advice, this shared experience can provide valuable insights to consider and discuss with your healthcare providers.

You are welcome to attend any scheduled myositis meeting, even if not in your geographical area. Just check our TMA events calendar and register for what interests you. TMA is an inclusive community and invites you to reach out and attend as many groups as you need. For those living outside the US, you are free to attend any meeting that works with your time zone. Please email us, and we can also help you find the nearest support group or other TMA members living nearby.

As a member of The Myositis Association, you are invited to join the TMA support group network. TMA offers members several patient and care partner support options. If not yet a member, join for free here.

TMA Nationwide Support by Diagnosis Group

Tap into the power of peer support with TMA Nationwide! Find encouragement and motivation to persevere through tough times, connect and learn! Even if you are managing myositis well at this time, please join so that your story may provide hope and support to others!

TMA’s Nationwide Myositis Support by Diagnosis Group meets on the first Saturday of each month at 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET | 10 am – 11:30 am PT. TMA Nationwide is led by several trained and certified TMA Support and Affinity Group Leaders across the nation. Not only do you have access to so much lived experience from your peers, this meeting offers breakout rooms by diagnosis (rooms may be different depending on registration and attendance of that month’s meeting):

  • Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) Rooms 1 & 2
  • Polymyositis (PM) Room 3
  • Dermatomyositis (DM) Room 4
  • Necrotizing (NM, NAM, IMNM) Room 5
  • Antisynthetase Syndrome (ASyS) Room 6
  • Juvenile Myositis (JM, JDM) Room 7
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Room 8
  • Care Partner, Caregiver, Family and Friends Room 9

    You can connect with others like you – people who understand your new normal and are navigating the same challenges. While meeting guidelines prohibit all from giving medical advice, it is the best place to discuss what has or hasn’t worked for you and to hear from others considering the same options. Most importantly, it’s a reminder that you are not alone. That’s the power of peer support!

    Register for TMA Nationwide

    Regional Support Groups

    Regional myositis support groups (formerly known as Keep in Touch (KIT) support groups) provide members the opportunity to get together with others in their area and share concerns, friendship, and ideas. When you choose this TMA service, your name, contact information, and diagnosis will be added to the list of support group members in your area and will only be shared with those in your specific KIT support group.

    Volunteer leaders manage these local support groups, devoting their personal time and energy to organizing and encouraging communication among local TMA members. Group members interact with each other through virtual support group meetings, newsletters, telephone, and e-mails. Some groups have regularly scheduled meetings with speakers, meals, and local activities. A few groups meet face-to-face. For those living outside the US, please email us, and we will help you find the nearest support group or other TMA members living nearby.

    Find Your Support Group

    Affinity Groups

    The term “affinity group” is used as a bringing together of people who share some commonality. TMA believes in creating safe spaces for communities that share more in common than their myositis diagnosis. Safe spaces can provide a break from judgment, unsolicited opinions, and having to explain yourself where there is no understanding. They allow people to feel supported and respected. This is especially important for people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and other marginalized groups.

    Affinity groups play a vital role in ensuring an inclusive environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed and are part of TMA’s commitment to amplifying patient voices and health equity and access. Our affinity groups also serve to help the organization create awareness and connectivity in communities where the groups have natural membership. The ability to effectively participate in this increased advocacy and awareness building is essential to TMA’s mission.

    Increased awareness of myositis has the potential to lead to earlier diagnosis, more effective treatments, and improving the quality of life for those who live with myositis. TMA and our affinity groups also advocate for patients through educational and media events as well as advancing legislation that removes barriers to accessing the best myositis care.

    We invite you to learn more about TMA’s affinity groups and how they are being successful in engaging our community of patients, care partners, family, friends, healthcare providers, and industry partners! See below for information for each group and check our events calendar here to find and register for an upcoming meeting or email TMA@myositis.org.

    Find Your Affinity Group

    1×1 Peer Support

    If you have attended our support and/or affinity groups and still need help navigating a challenge, TMA offers one-on-one peer support. This allows individuals to discuss specific issues or challenges they’re facing and receive guidance from someone who has been through similar situations. Although at TMA we do not give each other medical advice, this shared experience can provide valuable insights to consider and discuss with your healthcare providers.

    Request 1×1 Peer Support

    Becoming a TMA Support or Affinity Group Leader

    If would like to become a Support or Affinity Group Leader, TMA provides training, certification and resources that can help. If you are not a TMA member and want to participate in TMA’s groups, please join TMA now.