Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis (JA)
refers to any form of arthritis or an arthritis-related condition that develops in children or teenagers who are less than 18 years of age.

Impact of Juvenile Arthritis:

• Approximately 294,000 children under the age 18 are affected by pediatric arthritis and rheumatologic conditions.
• Ambulatory care visits for pediatric arthritis and rheumatologic conditions averaged 827,000 annually.
• Juvenile arthritis is one of the most common childhood diseases in the United States.
• Arthritis and related conditions, such as juvenile arthritis, cost the U.S. economy nearly $128 billion per year in medical care and indirect expenses, including lost wages and productivity.
•In Florida there are  approximately 16,000 children with arthritis.

Click here for more information about Juvenile Arthritis

Visit our family friendly website  KidsGetArthritisToo.org
• Information, tips and many more resources
• Ways to connect and share with other families
• The latest on medications, treatments and research breakthroughs
• Stories, guidance and support for parents
• Special sections just for kids and teens

Get Connected

Connect with JA Families - Join our JA Parent Networking Group Facebook Group “JA Families – Arthritis Foundation Florida” to connect with parents dealing with juvenile arthritis. The JA Parent Volunteers from this group plan and host our  JA Family Fun Days around Florida for  fun, networking and support.

To connect with the  Arthritis Foundation, Florida Chapter contact
Susan Cuellar, Vice President of Mission Delivery at 1-800-850-9455; scuellar@arthritis.org  

Download our “Arthritis is Unacceptable” flyer to share with others and find out more about what we are doing in Florida to make arthritis unacceptable.

And “Like” our Arthritis Foundation Florida chapter Facebook Page for all the Arthritis Foundation news and events in Florida.

CAMPS for Kids with Arthritis

Family Retreat Weekend at Camp Boggy Creek 
February 6-8, 2015 and September 26-28, 2015
For ages 7-16 (child with arthritis) and their families
For more information and application http://www.boggycreek.org
or call 866-Go-Boggy (462-6449)

Camp FunRise, Miami
In partnership with Miami Children’s Hospital
June 21-27. 2015
For ages 8-12
Click here for Application (PDF)
Click here for Application (.doc)

Camp Boggy Creek, Eustis (NW of Orlando)
A SeriousFun Camp founded by Paul Newman

July 6-1, 2015  and August 2-7, 2015
For ages 7-16
For more information and application http://www.boggycreek.org
or call 866-Go-Boggy (462-6449)
Click here for helpful information on Boggy On-line Application

Miracle Camp, Pensacola
In partnership with Sacred Heart Hospital
June 12-14, 2015
For ages 8 – 16
For more information call 800-850-9455

For many young people, summer camp changes their life, not just for a week, but for a lifetime. The Arthritis Foundation Florida Chapter gives children with arthritis the opportunity to make those lifetime memories.

The week long juvenile arthritis camp focuses on what campers can do, not what they can’t do. Campers are able to learn from others who have similar conditions and experiences. The program is designed to increase campers self-esteem by creating opportunities for them to meet personal challenges

For more information about Summer Camp for kids with Juvenile Arthritis, please contact the Arthritis Foundation, Florida Chapter at 1-800-850-9455 and ask for Susan Cuellar, Vice President of Mission Delivery.

“Hope Grows Here”

The National JA Conference is the Arthritis Foundation’s signature, nationwide event for families affected by juvenile arthritis. There is nothing like this conference. Over the past 30 years, we’ve brought together tens of thousands of families – kids, parents, siblings, caretakers – to meet each other and to learn from leading health care professionals and other experts in coping with childhood chronic illness.

Here’s what one mom had to say about the JA Conference:

“My daughter was diagnosed at age 7 and has struggled with learning to live with it. [At the JA Conference], we met with so many others going through the same struggles. It was an invaluable experience. My daughter now knows she isn’t alone in dealing with this disease.” – JA mom

Families will come from all over to learn and make new friends. They will arrive full of hope and anticipation, and when it’s time to go home, they’ll share hugs with new friends and leave stronger and better prepared to deal with the difficulties of this disease.

Special Programming:

Over four days, families will learn from top experts in pediatric rheumatology and related health care, research, educational rights, psychology, advocacy and more. Here are some highlights: 

Parents: Moms and dads will learn about and discuss treatment options, the latest medical advances, parenting tips, educational rights, social and developmental issues, how to navigate the health care system, and how to advocate for more research funding and greater access to pediatric rheumatologists.

Children and Teens: In a kid-friendly atmosphere, children will break into age groups from toddlers to teens. Led by experts, these sessions will be a blend of education, sharing personal stories with others, as well as fun and play. They will learn about their disease, coping with pain, self-identify with chronic illness and how to deal with peer problems.

Siblings: Chronic illness affects the whole family. Brothers and sisters are encouraged to join in and share how JA has affected their lives too.

Young Adults: For those 18 and older, sessions cover real-life issues, from managing medical care independently to relationships, college and employment.

Lots of Fun, Too:

The days and evenings will be a mix of educational sessions and fun activities. Families will relax and network with others during opening night dinner with special entertainment, meet and greet networking activities, the traditional “Family Fun Night” and pancake breakfasts.

Visit the conference webpage at http://www.kidsgetarthritistoo.org/meet-other-families/2015-juvenile-arthritis-conference/ to learn about all the exciting events planned as well as registration and hotel details for this year's conference. And follow all the details on the Juvenile Arthritis Conference Facebook Group Page https://www.facebook.com/JuvenileArthritisConference?group_id=0

The Florida Region is excited to be hosting the 2015 National JA Conference. For information on sponsorship and volunteering please contact Susan Cuellar, Vice President of Mission Delivery. 800-850-9455scuellar@arthritis.org.

Osceola County School Nurses Learn about JIA – Dec. 7, 2011

Norma Liburd, RN-BC, MN, Clinical Nurse Specialist of All Children's Pediatric Rheumatology gave a wonderful presentation to the very dedicated school nurses of Osceola County. Some of the opics discussed were diagnostic criteria and subtypes of JIA and characteristics of each; school related problems that students with JIA have and intervention strategies; and resources available through the Arthritis Foundation. We appreciate Norma's time and expertise in raising awareness and education of JIA. Click here to view Norma's PowerPoint presentation Part 1. and part 2

JA Family Connect Day – Tampa, Oct 29, 2011 – A Fun Success

A special thanks Hillsborough High School student, Logan Lentini, who volunteered with the Arthritis Foundation, Florida Chapter to host the JA Family Connect Day held on October, 29th.  See Flyer Logan wanted to do something for his brother and other kids with arthritis.  He understands how alone sometimes they feel because so few understand what it like to be a kid with arthritis.  Going to the National JA Conference with his family last summer cemented his idea that he wanted to volunteer more and make a difference. As part of his IB program at school, Logan developed his idea, survey parents for topics, planned the agendas for the parents and kids activities, recruited volunteers and speaker, solicited the donations and managed the logistics.  His hard work and dedication was reward with a very successful fun event.  Pictures from the event our posted on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AFFlorida

Speakers included:

Melissa Hughey: Arthritis Foundation Fundraising
            Information about Arthritis Foundation Events and Fundraising can be found here
Samantha Head,  America's National Teenager 2012:  Living with JA
            A video of Miss Head’s presentation is on her Facebook page  - America's National Teenager 2012 Samantha Head
Dr. Renee Modica, UF Shands & Dr. Robert Nickeson, All Children’s:  Medications and Research
Dr. Lise Fox, University of South Florida:   Helping Children Cope
            Director of  Florida Center for Inclusive Communities and Professor at University of South Florida,  Department of Child and Family Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
            Click here for Dr Fox’s PowerPoint presentation
            websites for resources and information, www.challengingbehavior.org and www.flcic.org
Selina O’Shannon, Disability Rights Florida:  504s/IEPs
            Senior Advocate-Investigator, Education Team
            Formerly the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.
            Click here for Ms. O’Shannon’s  PowerPoint presentation

Kids’ Activities included:

            Igi  - The Therapy Bear donated by Baxter BioPharm
            Ima JA Sib Bear, bears donated by AOPII and book written by Logan Lentini
            Balloons and Magic by Mike Jones the Magic Man
            Crowns with Samantha Head, America's National Teenager 2012
            Tucker Turtle, developed and written by Rochelle and Parker Lentini
             And chants, problem solving games and crafts with our wonderful volunteers

Click here to enlarge!

For more information on Florida Chapter programs for kids with arthritis and their families,  please call 800-850-9455 or email scuellar@arthritis.org