When we think of arthritis, the first demographic that comes to mind is the elderly. However, the juvenile form of arthritis affects 1 in every 1,000 children. In the United States alone, over 300,000 kids have been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, or JRA, before the young age of 16. AmEx Pharmacy was introduced to JRA firsthand when we attended the 2016 Magic of Caring event in West Palm Beach FL, hosted by the National Arthritis Foundation. Magic of Caring raises money to combat arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Most people are unaware that more children have JRA than diabetes, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined. This Event was dedicated to helping children who live with JRA by bringing families together, raising funds and awareness, and helping send kids to a week-long summer camp with others who have JRA. Throughout the year the Arthritis Foundation supports numerous regional events like this one, helping raise funding for research, and getting us one step closer to a cure.
Growing up with arthritis can be extremely challenging for a child. There are various types of JRA, and it can last anywhere from several months, to becoming an ongoing illness for many years. However, in every instance, early diagnosis and treatment can help avoid long-term joint damage. With the proper care from a team of rheumatology professionals, most children affected by the illness can still live full and active lives. AmEx Pharmacy had the privilege of supporting young JRA champions at this year’s fashion show event, and next year look forward to hearing the tales from the campers we helped this summer. To learn more about JRA and to help raise awareness you can visit www.kidsgetarthritistoo.org or stay tuned to our blog for updates on our progress in helping the fight against this painful disease.