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Please make a difference to a child's life

When we think of Christmas, we think of children and it is well-known that when we think of arthritis we think of older people. 

This Christmas we want to put a smile on the faces of children with arthritis!

Living with juvenile arthritis is a challenge not only for the child but also the parents and the rest of their family. As a parent, seeing your child struggling to move normally and being in constant pain, is heart wrenching.

I never cease to be amazed by the strength and courage of these children and their families but they need your support today!

Recently I spoke with Amy's mother, Sarah, who told me that Amy had always been a happy child. One day out of the blue, she seemed quite unwell with a fever and rash and was increasingly miserable. Sarah then noticed over a number of days that Amy's knees seemed to become very swollen and Amy began to complain of pain and stiffness in her legs and then she refused to walk because of the pain.

After a number of visits to their local doctor Amy was diagnosed with JIA and was referred to a paediatric rheumatologist where she started on medications to try and reduce inflammation and pain. When Sarah finally found out that Amy's pain was the result of JIA, she was shocked because like many people, she thought it was an old person's disease. 

Sarah believes that Amy and children like her, are entirely too young to have to suffer from extreme pain, especially at Christmas. She is however, grateful for the relief that Amy has gotten from the medication and treatment for her JIA and the support particularly at the time Amy was first diagnosed from Arthritis SA which Sarah is enormously thankful for.

Sarah and Amy both wish there was a cure for arthritis that would put an end to the pain that so many children with arthritis suffer. 

Arthritis SA has listened to Sarah and other parents in a similiar situation and are now planning a number of activities, not just for the children with arthritis but for the parents too. In 2018, we will continue to fund the paediatric rheumatology nurse and provide each newly diagnosed child with arthritis a special welcome resource pack. 

We will also hold our first South Australian camps for children with arthritis. One for 8-18 year olds in January and one for 8 and under in April. 

At Arthritis SA, we are inspired by the many children who cope day in and day out with this painful disease. We are doing everything we can to help them fight this disease. At any one time, one in every 1,000 children in our state suffers from JIA. We also want to be there to assist them by providing support and to also fund important research.

We really need your support to do this and I am asking for your help to support these special families by making your donation today. 

Please help us by donating to fund important research to help us find a cure for these brave children and provide support to them from the early days of diagnosis.

You can help us support these special children by making your donation today to the Arthritis Christmas Appeal and help us put a smile on the faces of children with arthritis especially at Christmas time.

Kind regards,

Julie Black


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