With a goal of dispelling the common notion that only seniors get arthritis, Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month efforts are underway.
The juvenile arthritis community is observing the annual July event, organized by the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF), through activities that include donning special gear, joining a virtual fundraiser, posting personal stories online, and sharing juvenile arthritis facts.
About 300,000 children in the United States live with juvenile arthritis, the general name given to many conditions that cause joint swelling in people under 16. It’s also called juvenile idiopathic arthritis because its cause is unknown.
Virtual Strides, an organization that raises funds for charity while promoting physical fitness, is supporting the month by donating its featured race. Called “Bend the Knee,” the virtual 5K/10K/half marathon raises money for juvenile arthritis research. Participants get an “Iron Throne” medal, and can run or walk this month anywhere and at any time.
Supporters are also encouraged to join the ANRF’s ongoing Racing For A Cure research fundraiser, which welcomes all abilities and physical activities such as walking, running, cycling, and swimming. Those interested may join a team globally or start one locally.
ANRF is also promoting Awareness Month gear that may be purchased here. Items include T-shirts and a Cure Arthritis bracelet. Community members may also simply wear blue, the color that represents juvenile arthritis.
In addition, the foundation is asking supporters to spread the word about the month by sharing this tweet, using the hashtags #CureArthritis and #KidsGetArthritis. Participants are also encouraged to share photos on social media. Here’s the organization’s Arthritis Awareness Month Frame for Facebook, and for Twitter via Twibbon.
ANRF is also offering a downloadable infographic that can be shared with facts about the organization, the disease and its impact.
Another way to show support is by sharing a personal story about juvenile arthritis on social media platforms. If interested in being featured on the organization’s Cure Arthritis Blog, whose articles include “Chronic Pain — A Three-Tiered Approach,” and “Engineering a New Approach to Cartilage Repair,” write to [email protected]
People can also join the Cure Arthritis Crew and serve as the ANRF’s community voice. The organization will send members Cure Arthritis stickers, buttons, and bracelets to help them get started. Members must pledge to take various actions to help boost disease research and awareness.
Since 1970, the ANRF has funded research to ultimately develop treatments and cures for arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
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