Arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults in the U.S. The new campaign, “Let’s Get a Grip on Arthritis,” seeks to raise awareness that while a cure isn’t found, millions of Americans will be kept from doing what they love or performing daily tasks that are simple to most people.
“Arthritis is a debilitating disease that impacts nearly every family in America. We need to raise awareness and the funds needed so that people with arthritis can one day have a cure,” Ann McNamara, senior vice president of revenue strategy at the Arthritis Foundation, said in a press release.
“One in four Americans live with doctor-diagnosed arthritis – and last year, more than 22 million people came to us for help. We’re committed to providing the resources and support people with arthritis need and ultimately finding a cure, and this campaign will help us achieve that goal faster,” McNamara added.
By joining the #LetsGripArthritis social media movement, supporters can donate and learn more about arthritis and related conditions, including juvenile arthritis, the general name given to describe many different conditions that cause joint swelling in children under 16.
Arthritis is estimated to impact more than 54 million Americans, of which nearly 300,000 are children. Juvenile arthritis can increase a child’s risk of depression as well as physical limitations due to the fact that bones and joints grow unevenly.
When severe, arthritis can cause chronic pain, inability to do daily activities, and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.
“I woke up in high school in a ton of pain,” said Charcandrick West, NFL player for the Kansas City Chiefs. “I’ll never forget how it felt to be a kid and sick, wondering if I would be able to continue doing what I love – playing football. Thankfully, my arthritis is in remission, but my heart breaks for the kids who are dealing with pain and I want to help them chase their dreams, until science and medicine stops arthritis in its tracks.”
Matt Iseman, host of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” added: “It can be a lonely feeling when you’re first diagnosed, but realizing you’re part of a community of more than 54 million Americans gives me the strength to deal with my health challenges on a daily basis. The Arthritis Foundation has become like a second family helping me fight my rheumatoid arthritis as well as helping others. I keep supporting the Arthritis Foundation because I want to be part of the organization’s effort to find a cure for arthritis.”