Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
If you didn’t know that arthritis also affects children before reading this, then you can understand the need to get the word out and educate others about this disease. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common type of juvenile arthritis, occurs spontaneously before the age of 16 with no known cause. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1 in every 250 children have arthritis or a related disease.
Here are some ways you can help:
Learn more about what life is like with juvenile arthritis so you can be an advocate for children with the disease and educate others. The Arthritis Foundation provides resources for parents, children, and people who work with children affected by juvenile arthritis. For example, while exercise and staying active are an important part of managing arthritis, students with arthritis may have difficulty walking, lifting, writing or participating in recess or gym class. Getting up in the morning and sitting for long periods of time can also be painful.
If you have a connection to juvenile arthritis, you can help with research by joining a group called PARTNERS, or if you know a child with juvenile arthritis tell them about JA Camps (summer camps for children with arthritis). Families and individuals can attend the Arthritis Foundation’s Juvenile Arthritis Conference to learn more about the disease, find out about the latest medical research, share stories and connect with others learning to live with juvenile arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation also has local fundraising events including theJingle Bell Run Kickoff July 17th with a viewing of “The Polar Express” at Emagine Theatre in Novi and the Jingle Bell Run in Detroit on December 7th.
Visit https://www.arthritis.org/get-involved/ to learn more. Together we can help find a cure.