On June 28th, friends and families from all over the United States flocked to Bellevue, Washington, to connect, play and learn at the 2018 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference. With a turnout of over 1,000 people, the event began with a bang and was a massive success!
Now that the Conference has wound down, it is officially July, which is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month! And the Arthritis Foundation wants YOU to join the fight!
JA: Our Heroes’ Nemesis
Every day, 300,000 kids nationwide fight against this disease. There are many types of juvenile arthritis, as well as its henchmen: other childhood rheumatic conditions such as lupus, scleroderma, and juvenile dermatomyositis. Its effects take form in symptoms like pain, swelling, stiffness, and rashes, although there is not only one marker for the disease. One or a combination of many symptoms could present, and only a pediatric rheumatologist and bloodwork or imaging studies can definitively diagnose any type of JA.
The fight remains hopeful! Today, medicines and medical treatments are more advanced than ever before and build every single year, helping heroes of all kinds to lead fuller lives and take part in the activities they enjoy most, often evading permanent joint damage.
Spotting this villain early is important in the ultimate mission of inactive disease, or stopping JA’s effects as quickly as possible. Today, our doctors are more advanced than ever before, and can treat the body with therapies and medicines that help them lessen or end inflammation, possibly for good.
Where We Are in the Fight
JA is strong, but we are stronger. Worldwide, health organizations and top medical experts have joined together to find a cure for JA and other childhood rheumatic diseases and treat them safely and effectively for every child. We work with each possible path to the cure separately, eliminating the ineffective ones as we go.
On a personal level, the Arthritis Foundation works with families fighting JA to give them resources and help them connect with other families alike. Kids with JA can also attend one of our JA camps nationwide, where they can meet and learn from heroes just like themselves, and have fun while doing it!
How to Join the Battle
Your voice adds strength to the fight, and there are a few things you can do:
- Whether you or somebody you know struggles with juvenile arthritis, share your story, wins, and losses. You can inspire others and bring others forward to tell their stories too!
- Spread the word on social media with the hashtag #StrongerThanJA. The more people who know about our cause, the further we can reach out to heroes like you!
- By donating, you can help us be strong too. Helping us fund research for the cure keeps us going every day and have events, from Camps and Conferences. Even just a little bit goes a long way!
With your help, our JA heroes can get closer to saying Yes, and to being stronger – #StrongerThanJA.