Arthritis Advocacy In the News
"Birmingham teen to speak at congressional briefing" CBS 42, (June 22,2012)
"Fighting through the pain: Tupelo teen pushes back against juvenile arthritis" NEMS Daily Journal, (June 15, 2012)
"MLES student speaks to Congress about arthritis" 280 Living, (June 5, 2012).
"An Advocate Joins Arthritis Walk" Shore Publishing, (May 21, 2012).
"Local woman is Arthritis Foundation advocate," Parkersburg News and Sentinal, (May 13, 2012).
"Pilgrim senior aims to raise arthritis awareness," Warwick Beacon, (May 8, 2012).
"Des Moines resident joins arthritis advocates at Summit," Iowa Bystander, (May 7, 2012).
The Widdis Family Takes on Washington
Many know the pain of Arthritis, few know the cost. That is why Isabel Widdis, 10, of Baroda, and her family took their message to Washington, D.C. for the 2010 Arthritis Foundation Advocacy and Kids’ Summit. While in the Nation's Capital, the Widdis family met with their own congressman, Michigan House Representative Fred Upton, and also Michigan Rep. Vern Ehlers, and had a brief meeting with Michigan Senator Carl Levin. In addition, they stopped at every other Michigan House and Senate office on the hill to drop off a very important packet of information about the Arthritis cause and key issues, so that each member of Congress could put a face to a disease that includes 1.4 million people in Michigan.
The meeting with Rep. Fred Upton was the event that Isabel declared to be the most memorable. She had the chance to walk around his office and then was invited to sit at Rep. Upton’s desk and hold the gavel that he used when he was Speaker of the House. (see photo)
The encounter with Senator Levin was one of chance. The Widdis family was travelling through the sub-basement of one of the House buildings, using the underground trolley and subway cars that the Members of the House and Senate use to move from building to building without going outside. They just happened to look up and see Senator Levin. So they were able to have a brief chat and learn that he had an Aunt named Isabel, which our Isabel thought was really neat!
Angela (mom) stated, “As we were walking down the Halls of Congress, many people took a second glance because rarely do they see children in a place like that. Isabel was really on a mission, she would be walking about 15 steps in front of us, and because of her Arthritis she walks somewhat hard anyway. That, coupled with the fact that she had new skills gained while attending the Kids’ Summit the day before, you could really hear her walking down the hall. That got me to thinking: if it was not for arthritis, or the summit, would Isabel walk with such purpose? So now, I will not correct her for walking so hard because people need to hear the footsteps of Arthritis!”
Rick (dad) stated, “This was a very educational trip that taught our whole family what being an Arthritis Ambassador is all about.” He added, “The trip was fun, informational, and historical, all wrapped into one. I would suggest that everyone go (to the Advocacy Summit) at least once. The more times they see the same faces, you and Arthritis cause becomes more familiar!”
The Widdis family urged lawmakers to pass the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act of 2009 (HR 1210) that is co-sponsored by House Representative Fred Upton (R-MI). This bill would expand efforts to prevent, treat, and care for people with arthritis through:
- Enhancing arthritis prevention;
- Expanding and strengthening research programs relating to juvenile arthritis;
- Establishing a juvenile arthritis registry;
- Enhancing support for rheumatology training programs; and
- Establishing a loan repayment program for pediatric rheumatologists to address the country's severe shortage of these critical specialists
To join the Widdis family in the fight against arthritis, sign up to become an e-advocate!
Florida Kids with Arthritis Get Governor's Attention
Kids with arthritis start a statewide Juvenile Arthritis Revolution by Staging a Peaceful Protest in Tallahassee
Kids and Young Adults, 2 to 21 years old, staged a “peaceful protest to fight arthritis” in Tallahassee on April 13, 2010 as part of Children’s Week at the Capitol. With their families, the Arthritis Foundation, Florida Chapter and supporters, they took their message to Governor Crist and state legislative leaders. Dressed in tie-dye, carrying protest signs and passing out flowers, they want people to know that kids get arthritis and they are fighting not only daily pain and joint stiffness but for a cure and better access to healthcare.
To kick off their day of protest, these young people met with Florida State Representatives Ed Homan and Kelly Skidmore to discuss healthcare issues and how to be a successful advocate. Pam Haas of Orlando and her two children talked about what is like for 15 year old Rachel to live with juvenile arthritis. Also present were Representatives Pafford, Murzin, Heller and Krisman. Current advocacy priorities discussed include lack of specialty care for juvenile arthritis. A 75% increase is needed from the 250 pediatric rheumatologists nationwide to meet the needs of the more than 300,000 children current diagnosed with a form of arthritis.
At the Capitol’s Courtyard the kids and their families set up their booth, educating kids and adults alike on their issues and the facts about arthritis. They also visited their district offices to tell their stories of arthritis in kids in person. The highlight of the day was meeting Governor Crist on the courtyard and involving hi in their peaceful protest against arthritis. See More Pictures Here.
Roybal-Allard pays visit to Girl Scout troops
DOWNEY – Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard spoke to Girl Scouts from troops 2485, 3245 and 2675 at a joint meeting at Downey Memorial Christian Church on May 8.
During the visit, the congresswoman discussed her role and duties as their representative in Congress and how federal legislation directly impacts their daily lives.
Roybal-Allard urged the students to make their voices heard by exercising their right to vote and participating in other ways in the political process. She also encouraged them to do well in school and explained the many educational resources provided by her office to assist students. Read More