The assignment was to write a memoir on the most influential moment in your life. As simple as it sounds, for 16-year-old Kimberly Vieau, the task wasn’t that easy.
“We were supposed to pick a happy memory,” said Kimberly. “But I don’t have many happy memories from my childhood.”
Continue reading Turning Pain into Inspiration: Arthritis Memoir Earns an “A”
Marina Gomez of Wichita, KS has been a gymnast since she was just 4-years-old. In 2012 and 2013 she won consecutive gold medals at the Junior Olympic National Championship in competitive trampoline. Marina was looking forward to a long gymnastics career but after she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) in 2013, her gymnastics career was cut short.
Continue reading From Gymnastics Gold to JA: How Gymnastics & Juvenile Arthritis Changed Marina Gomez’s Life
When a child or teen is diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA), they might feel alone or not able to do activities they’ve done easily in the past. Art for Arthritis, an Arthritis Foundation fundraising event being held in three cities in September, gives children and teens diagnosed with JA or a rheumatic disease a feeling of togetherness and creative expression. Through these life-changing events, kids are paired with a professional artist and together, they turn a potentially challenging and painful situation into beautiful and inspiring pieces of art.
Continue reading Art for Arthritis: Getting Creative in the Fight Against Juvenile Arthritis
Rachel Hadel was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile arthritis (JA) in March 2011 at age 14. “When I was diagnosed I didn’t know what I was getting into, it was very overwhelming,” says Rachel. The feelings of being overwhelmed and not knowing anyone else with JA inspired Rachel to become involved with the Arthritis Foundation. Her involvement eventually led her to a role as a counselor at Camp Joint Adventures, a JA camp in the Kansas City area.
Continue reading From Juvenile Arthritis to JA Camp Counselor – Rachel Hadel Inspires Others
While Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is typically known for historic events such as the birthplace of our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution, it was also the site of the second of two National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences. In historic fashion, the Arthritis Foundation welcomed over 1,000 more children and their families to the East conference, bringing the total number of attendees in 2016 to over 2,000 – the highest numbers to date!
Continue reading JA Conference East Touches Lives of Over 1,000 Families Living With Juvenile Arthritis
Today, families from around the nation are gathering in Phoenix, AZ, for our JA Conference WEST – the first of two national Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Conferences we are hosting this year. These two conferences give families, kids, teens and young adults affected by JA and other rheumatic diseases an opportunity to share time connecting, learning, sharing tips and forming bonds that can last a lifetime.
Continue reading First of Two 2016 JA Conferences Begins Today!
Every day we come across kids and their families who are stronger than arthritis. We hear about their accomplishments, whether it is smiling through soreness, or receiving the game ball from a well-pitched baseball game. Earlier this year we came across a photo of two bright eyed, smiling faces enjoying their time together at a previous JA Conference.
Continue reading Stronger Than JA: Strength In Numbers
Women who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) – an umbrella term for several types of arthritis that develop in childhood appear to be at higher risk of developing heart disease than women who do not have inflammatory arthritis, according to a new study out of Canada. For years, researchers have examined the link between inflammatory forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or lupus, and an increased risk of heart disease. But no one had studied heart health in adults with JIA (another inflammatory form of arthritis), and little was known about the health effects of lifelong JIA during pregnancy.
Continue reading Women With Juvenile Arthritis May Be at Higher Risk of Heart Disease
Every day we are constantly in awe of the children, siblings, parents, families and caregivers we meet, who face and overcome the everyday challenges of living with arthritis. It’s never one thing in particular, and individually or collectively, we can celebrate these victories.
Continue reading We Want to Know How You Are #StrongerThanJA!
Payton and Jayden Ghesquiere do all the things you might expect sisters to do: Play with dolls and Legos, go swimming, make up games together, and even occasionally argue. While Payton and Jayden may look normal to outsiders, their relationship is very different than most sisters their age. You see, Jayden was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) three years ago when she was just five years old. That means that Payton, who is only seven years old now, has lived over half her life helping and caring for Jayden. Because of JA, Payton is more than a just sister, serving as Jayden’s caretaker and best friend.
JA is challenge for all families, and it can take an especially hard toll on siblings. Payton spends time pushing Jayden in her wheelchair, and their playtime is often cut short when Jayden becomes tired. Despite the challenges, Payton remains incredibly positive and supportive, attending almost every doctor, therapy and lab work appointment with her sister. “Payton has graciously stepped up, helped out, and sat on the sidelines,” says Payton’s mother, Karrie. “She has done all this without complaint for over three years.”
Continue reading A Different Kind of Champion: Payton Goes Above and Beyond to Care for Her Sister with Juvenile Arthritis