July may be best known for watching fireworks, eating ice cream and splashing in the pool. But it’s also the month when we recognize that one out of every 250 kids in the United States lives with some form of juvenile arthritis (JA).
From Mobile, Alabama to the shores of Waialua, Hawaii, the Arthritis Foundation is proud to host camp programs for kids with juvenile arthritis and related childhood rheumatic diseases. Camp programs provide a safe and secure camping experience for both children and teens. Some locations also offer family camps – an opportunity for the entire family to attend together.
Katy Carter of Los Angeles says, “When our daughter Rhiannon was seven years old, she wanted to meet other kids with arthritis. She wanted to know that she wasn’t alone, that there were other kids just like her. This was a defining moment in our lives. Of course she wanted to meet other kids. Of course she was feeling isolated. She had this strange disease that none of her friends had ever heard of and didn’t understand. As her mother, I wanted to make everything perfect for her little life and protect her from the reality of her diagnosis. But, I couldn’t be that friend her age that ‘gets it’.”
Continue reading Juvenile Arthritis Camps: Why JA Camp is an Experience You Can’t Miss
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