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Expanding their Village: Carson and the Arthritis Foundation

The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child. Chrissy Rose had always known that statement was true, but when her toddler son, Carson, was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) at 15 months, she felt it even more acutely.

“We hardly understood that our child could have arthritis, let alone knew anyone else who was dealing with it,” recalls Chrissy. “We were a little lost.”

After moving from Ohio to Indiana far away from most of their family and friends, the Roses connected with their local Arthritis Foundation in Indianapolis. While they formed a small team for their first event– the Indy Walk to Cure Arthritis — they found inspiration to expand their team and fundraising efforts for the next year’s walk.

“We were blown away at the walk,” says Chrissy. “To see all these people working hard for the same cause was really special.”

Not long after that first year as walkers, Carson’s Crew was born. In addition to having a team, Carson also was asked to serve as the local Arthritis Walk Youth Honoree.

“After attending JA family day, the staff at our local office asked if Carson would like to be the youth honoree for the walk,” says Chrissy. “Carson was thrilled, and they even let him lead the walk on his John Deere Power Wheel tractor.”

Carson’s tractor wasn’t the only thing that packed a lot of power. His Walk to Cure Arthritis team was a force to be reckoned with, too. Carson’s Crew had more than 30 members and having raised nearly $10,000, they were the top fundraising team for the 2015 Indy Walk to Cure Arthritis. Not ones to back down from a challenge, Carson’s Crew is already raising money for their 2016 team.

Chrissy is once again the team captain of Carson’s Crew and serves on the planning committee for the 2016 Indy Walk to Cure Arthritis. She also is a member of the local JA committee. The Roses also have attended local JA Days and even made the trip to Orlando for this past summer’s JA Conference.

“The conference was amazing,” says Chrissy. “We learned so much and connected with so many wonderful people. I don’t think we’ll ever forget it.”

Chrissy and Carson also are regulars at their local Arthritis Foundation office, offering their time and talents wherever they’re needed.

“As Carson grows older, it’s neat to watch him begin to understand the support he has from the Arthritis Foundation,” Chrissy says. “Whenever we go into the office to volunteer, he gets excited and says, ‘we’re at the arthritis place!’”

Though the burden of arthritis — doctor’s appointments, medications, pain — is still very real for Carson and his family, the support of the Arthritis Foundation has been a bright spot.

“We feel so lucky to have found the Arthritis Foundation,” says Chrissy. “We’re very blessed to become part of this community.”

We hope you will join us this Giving Tuesday. Slated for December 1, Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back and celebrating generosity. When you give to the Arthritis Foundation, you help support the Arthritis Foundation’s commitment to helping the over 50 million Americans with arthritis say Yes. Give, so Carson can say Yes to childhood — riding on his Power Wheels, leading his team and making new friends.

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