ATLANTA, May 1, 2013 – The Arthritis Foundation is announcing a new multiyear public awareness campaign in conjunction with Arthritis Month this May to debunk the myths of arthritis. The Faces of Arthritis campaign will feature public service ads focusing on the harsh realities of arthritis and dispelling the common stereotypes often associated with the disease. 

As the nation’s leading cause of disability, arthritis affects more than 50 million people, one in five adults. Most people think arthritis is one disease, affects only old people and is due to “wear and tear” of the joints; however, arthritis affects all ages and is an umbrella term for more than 100 joint diseases that can affect the whole body, including organs.

“Arthritis is common, costly and painful, and people think that there is nothing you can do about it.  Misconceptions around the disease contribute to millions living with arthritis pain and the persistent attitude of complacency toward the disease and its impact,” says Arthritis Foundation Vice President of Public Health Policy and Advocacy, Dr. Patience White.

Face the Facts – Debunking the Myths

  • Myth: Arthritis is a disease associated with aging. Fact: Arthritis can affect people of all ages. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65 and some of the most serious forms of arthritis occur in teenagers or people in their 20s and 30s.
  • Myth: Only old people get arthritis. Fact: Children get arthritis, too. Nearly 300,000 children are affected by arthritis.
  • Myth: Knuckle cracking causes arthritis. Fact: Knuckle cracking can’t trigger arthritis, but it can stretch tissue and lead to discomfort.
  • Myth: Arthritis is just aches and pains. Fact: Arthritis is a more frequent cause of activity limitation than heart disease, cancer or diabetes and causes work limitations for nearly one in three people in the U.S.
  • Myth: Cold weather makes arthritis worse. Fact: There is no scientific evidence that a particular climate is better for people with arthritis, but changes in barometric pressure, often associated with inclement weather, may affect people with arthritis.
  • Myth: There is nothing I can do about arthritis. I just have to “live with it.” Fact: Early diagnosis and management can prevent the long term pain and disability seen with many kinds of arthritis.
  • Myth: Arthritis is one disease. Fact: There are more than 100 types of arthritis and knowing what type you have makes a difference in how to treat it.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of arthritis early as many forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause irreversible joint damage, often within the first two years of the disease.  Osteoarthritis, the most common form, can develop within 10 years of a major joint injury.

As part of the Faces of Arthritis campaign, the Arthritis Foundation encourages people to raise awareness of this serious disease.

Make a Difference

  • Arthritis Walk – The Arthritis Walk is the Arthritis Foundation's nationwide team walk event that raises funds to fight arthritis. Companies, families and individuals are encouraged to participate in this event to raise money to help fund the mission of the Arthritis Foundation, which is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases. To sign up or to find an event in your area, visit www.arthritiswalk.org.
  • Join the conversation – Use the #ArthritisMonth hash tag throughout the month of May to raise awareness and to learn more from people nationwide about the harsh realities of arthritis.
  • Go interactive – Show that arthritis can affect anyone at any time by “placing your face” with the Faces of Arthritis interactive tool. Invite your community – constituents, family and friends – who care about arthritis to upload a picture of their face in the www.facesofarthritis.org photo gallery, along with a sharable 140-character message.

Face the facts. To learn more about arthritis and the Faces of Arthritis campaign, visit www.facesofarthritis.org.

About the Arthritis Foundation

Striking one in every five adults and 300,000 children, arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability.  The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is committed to raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of this serious and painful disease, which can severely damage joints and rob people of living life to its fullest.  The Foundation funds life-changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades; fights for health care policies that improve the lives of the millions who live with arthritis; and partners with families to provide empowering programs and information.

 

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Arthritis Foundation’s Georgia Office Receives Grant

from The Home Depot Foundation

 

Atlanta, Georgia - November 16, 2012 – Through its seventh annual Building Community Network program, The Home Depot® Foundation has awarded $20,000 to Arthritis Foundation, Southeast Region’s Georgia office.  The donation will be used to continue to support Programs for Better Living throughout the state of Georgia, and to fund the Arthritis Foundation’s strategic  research initiatives.

 

“We’re thankful for partners like The Home Depot Foundation who enable us to continue our mission on a local and regional level,” says David M. Popen, CEO of the Arthritis Foundation’s Southeast Region.  “Arthritis is our country’s leading cause of disability, and we are here to help individuals and families that fight the unacceptable pain of this disease every day.”

 

Through its Building Community Network program, sponsored in partnership with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, The Home Depot Foundation connects with some of Atlanta’s most effective nonprofit organizations, which are focused on building communities through innovative programs and collaborative partnerships that fall outside of the Foundation’s usual areas of giving.  This year, 20 nonprofits participated in roundtable discussions and workshops focused on the theme of ‘Leadership for Sustainability and Lasting Impact’ that addressed the needs nonprofit organizations to explore the role of leadership in organizational long-term health and the importance of growing leaders at every level of an organization.  Each organization received a $20,000 grant at the end of the day to support their work on a broad range of issues facing the Atlanta community. 

 

“We feel it is especially important to support local nonprofits that share our goal of creating and maintaining a healthier and more stable Atlanta,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation.  “By creating a partnership with Arthritis Foundation, Southeast Region, we believe we have the opportunity to make a significant impact on our hometown.”

 

About Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is committed to raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of arthritis.  Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, impacting more than 50 million adults and nearly 300,000 children.  The Arthritis Foundation is the world’s largest private nonprofit funder of arthritis research, investing more than $450 million in strategic initiatives resulting in treatments that have given mobility back to countless patients.  In addition to research funding the Arthritis Foundation fights for health care policies that improve the lives of the millions who live with arthritis, and partners with individuals and families locally to provide empowering programs and information. 

 

 About The Home Depot Foundation

In 2011, The Home Depot Foundation committed $30 million over three years to nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the homes of economically disadvantaged veterans. The Home Depot Foundation surpassed the pledge more than a year ahead of schedule. As part of its second annual Celebration of Service campaign, the Foundation is now committing an additional $50 million to housing nonprofits over the next three years in an effort to ensure every veteran has a safe place to call home. 

Through Team Depot, the company's associate-led volunteer program, thousands of Home Depot associates volunteer their time and talents to positively transform neighborhoods and perform basic repairs and modifications to homes and to the facilities serving veterans with critical housing needs.

Since its formation in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $300 million to nonprofit organizations improving homes and lives in local communities. To learn more and see our associates in action, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org, follow us on Twitter @homedepotfdn, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation.

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