Juvenile arthritis (JA) is one of the most common, chronic childhood diseases in the U.S., affecting nearly 300,000 children. During Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, the Arthritis Foundation raises public awareness about this painful and debilitating disease—a disease that currently has no cure and can affect children for a lifetime.
Eleven-year-old Rhiannon Carter stopped walking at the age of two when her knees became painful and swollen, a symptom of Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. She takes medication by pill, injection and infusion as part of her monthly regimen. Nevertheless, this courageous JA advocate overcomes her pain to share her story with the public while raising funds for a cure.
On July 3-6, Rhiannon and her family will join nearly 1,000 other members of the JA community at the 30th annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference in Keystone, Colorado. Children with juvenile arthritis, their parents and other caregivers from across the country will network with those who share similar challenges and learn about the latest advances in juvenile arthritis research and care. Visit www.kgat.org for more information.
In addition to the conference, "Kids Get Arthritis, Too" website and JA research, the Arthritis Foundation offers other life-enhancing resources nationwide. Programs offered in Arizona, Greater California, Hawaii and Nevada include:
Youth Summer Camps: At camp, children with arthritis and related conditions meet other children who share a similar experience and realize that they are not alone. They also develop independence and self-confidence while enjoying traditional outdoors activities in a safe, medically supervised environment.
POWER PACK Outreach Program: The JA POWER PACK provides useful information and tools to help newly diagnosed children, teens and their parents live better with arthritis.
Young Adult Programs: Arthritis Foundation symposia meet the special needs of young adults with arthritis and related diseases.
Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region