News from the States
Illinois -- The Illinois Valley Branch of the Arthritis Foundation is chosen grant recepient of the Senator Gary Dahl 38th District Charity Fund. “It gives me great pleasure to present this check for $1000 to the Arthritis Foundation. I applaud the good work that you do in providing community based programs for citizens educating them on prevention, control & cure of arthritis and related diseases”.
Kansas -- The Kansas Chapter provided a scholarship for Luke Lohrmeyer and his mother to attend the AJAO Conference in Rhode Island last summer. Among the many useful things they learned during the conference was the importance of grassroots advocacy. They put it into practice upon their return to northwestern Kansas by visiting U.S. Represtantive Jerry Moran.
In a recent newsletter to his constituents, Representative Moran wrote: “In my Hays office recently was Luke Lohrmeyer of Ellis (KS) and his mother Amy, to talk about H.R. 583, the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act. Eleven-year old Luke has juvenile arthritis and visited with me about his condition and this
legislation. I am encouraged by this young man, who is a great example of our youth's willingness to get involved and raise awareness about issues that affect their lives. Since meeting Luke, I have now become a sponsor of the legislation.”
Michigan -- Parents in Michigan have been passionately involved in advocacy efforts recently.
Anne and John Creek and their son, 5-year-old son Brennan, attended the AJAO Conference last summer and learned about the Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act and quickly sprang into action when they returned home. They designed and printed a greeting card with Brennan’s picture taken with an advocacy sign at the Conference, talked to family and friends and shared it with them, and sent the photo greeting to local and federal Michigan legislators.
Likewise, Chris and Scott DeJong and their son, 6-year-old Alexander, also attended the AJAO Conference where photos were taken of the kids holding a sign asking for support for the APCC. At home, Chris turned the photo into a card which she has distributed to more than 250 Michigan friends and family for them to sign and send to Senator Carl Levin’s office asking for his support. They also have met with their U.S. Representative, Dave Camp, who later signed on to support the bill.
Laura and Clint Brian, and their 6-year-old daughter, Olivia, heard about the DeJong’s advocacy efforts and soon followed suit with a card and story which they have distributed to about 300 neighbors, co-workers, family and friends, and sent on to Senator Levin’s office and to their own legislators.
And on December 12, 8-year-old Annaliese Longo, and her mom, Holly Longo-Minor, met personally with Representative Mike Rogers, an important legislator on the key Energy and Commerce Committee, in his district office in Brighton.