Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is a chronic, life long auto immune disease with no cure. The body’s own immune system goes haywire and attacks the body’s healthy tissue within the joints (and sometimes in the eyes and other internal organs as well). This is NOT the same “arthritis” we get as we age from wear and tear. This is the body attacking it’s own tissues and causing inflammation, pain, swelling, and deformity.
And, in some cases, it can be fatal.
Every year, my family and I take part in our local Walk to Cure Arthritis run by the Arthritis Foundation. We raise money to help fund research, education and community programs for children (and adults) who suffer from over 100 forms of Arthritis. In the last three walks, we have raised over $30,000 total! This year, we are Team Esella’s Superheroes and we are on a MISSION to eradicate the evil villain ARTHRITIS!
There will be capes.
There will be superhero shoes.
It will be amazing.
And YOU can HELP!
Here is Esella our first year doing the walk (2011, she was 2) when we hit the $15,000 mark!
This year, thanks to the selfless donations of many of my fellow speech-language pathologists, we are offering bundles of therapy materials for a small donation. 100% of the donation goes directly to the Arthritis Foundation! (If you are a parent or an SLP who works with little ones…I will also be selling an eBook soon for this cause…so please stay tuned)
How to Get Your Bundle (and Help Children with JA!)
Please Note: Friday March 28th at 5:28pm: Due to a technical issue, it looks like you will not be able to download the bundles until Monday or Tuesday. You are welcome to pay now and wait for your email confirmation with download information or wait until next week. I apologize for this inconvenience!
Do you shop at teacherspayteachers.com? If not, you should be! Talented speech-language pathologists (and teachers and special educators…) are busy making and selling creative and fun materials for others to use in their sessions. I am lucky to “know” so many of these fantastic and creative professionals through blogging/Facebook groups. When I asked these creative and very busy people if they would be interested in donating products toward my cause? I immediately received email after email with products! I ended up with a total of 52 products, which I organized into two bundles of 26, each worth just over $125!
Head over to the Cure for JA SLP Bundle Page to find out what is contained in each bundle (including links to product descriptions). This is also where you can purchase your own bundle(s) via eJunkie! Get $125 worth of materials for $20 or buy both bundles and get $250 of materials for just $40! 100% of your donations will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation under my daughter’s name in our local Walk to Cure Arthritis, which takes place on May 10th!
So head over NOW to get YOURS!
How Your Money Helps
There are 300,000 children in the US alone that suffer from some form of Juvenile Arthritis and millions of Americans who suffer from over 100 different types of arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation helps fund research for new medications, research to find out more about the different types of diseases (toward a CURE), education, programs and services. In addition, the AF funds grants to recruit, educate and train pediatric rheumatologists. There is a great GREAT need for pediatric rheumatologists in this country, as you can see from this image. There are 11 states without a single board-certified, practicing pediatric rheumatologist and 7 states with just one. None. or One. For a whole state. Unacceptable.
In addition, one of the most AMAZING things the Arthritis Foundation does for children with JA, is the annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference. This yearly event is *the* event that so many children with JA look forward to each year. A place where people understand them. A place where they can talk openly about their disease. A place to have fun and forget their pain.
We went last summer, and it was amazing and life changing. The money we raise helps to not only fund the conference itself, but helps pay for families to attend! The AF provides scholarships to families all over the country so they can be a part of this experience! Last summer, the theme was superheroes and princesses and guess who came to the conference?
Esella and her friend Bevin, age 4, both have Juvenile Arthritis- at the 2013 Juvenile Arthritis Conference in Anaheim.
Yup, superheroes and princesses! All thanks to the funds we raise!
Why Juvenile Arthritis is Unacceptable
This year, our local walk is dedicated to a young girl who lost her life due to complications of JA. This sweet girl was only eight years old.
That is why juvenile arthritis is unacceptable. This year, we walk and fight for Angelina.
It is NOT just pain. It can cause lifelong problems. And the medications to treat JA can be very hard on their little bodies. Every week we must inject my daughter twice with some heavy duty medications to keep her body from attacking her.
Want to Learn More?
I made these two videos in 2011 and 2012 to help raise awareness and educate others about JA for our walk. The first explains a bit more detail the seriousness of JA and our story. (And some pretty adorable pictures of my kid too )
Other Ways to Help
Here are some other ways you can help me and my family fundraise this year:
- If you are an SLP or special educator, PLEASE share this post with others who may be interested in these bundles! If you are receiving this via email, please feel free to forward it on to anyone you think may be interested (including coworkers). You can also share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and other social networks.
- If you have found my website helpful to you but you are not interested in the bundles, please consider a small donation to our team. You can do so HERE and donate to my daughter.
- If you are a parent with a child with speech/language delays or an SLP who works in EI please check back as I will have another opportunity for you to help as well as soon as it’s ready! So please check in soon!
Here is the LINK for the SLP Bundles again for your convenience. THANK YOU!