New Research Into Genes That Cause Arthritis
The Arthritis Foundation awarded a two-year grant totaling $200,000 to identify genetic components related to the risk of developing Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). The study will also test the idea that in a child with JIA a new DNA change may occur that is a major contributor to the disease.

Investigator Susan D. Thompson, Ph.D. will focus her study on children who get arthritis at very young ages and on families that have multiple children with JIA or multiple generations with JIA. Click here to learn more about her research. For more information about the Arthritis Foundation Research Program, visit

Family Spotlight: The Weavers

Meet 7- year-old Cadie Weaver! Cadie was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis (JA) at age 3 ½, but her mother, Melissa Weaver, said that Cadie experienced swelling in her left ankle for about a year prior to her diagnosis. Click here to read more about her arthritis journey and how the Weavers came to be involved with the Arthritis Foundation..


Advocacy in West Virginia

Can you imagine driving nearly four hours every two weeks to get your child the medical care she needs? That is what one West Virginia mother, Lesli Wright, did for two years after her daughter, Ayla, was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis (JA) at 18 months.

West Virginia is one of 11 states without a single board-certified, practicing pediatric rheumatologist. There are seven other states with only one. “It’s the kids who suffer,” Wright said when asked about what it’s like to live in a state without a specialist.  Click here to read more about Ayla and the Arthritis Foundation's advocacy efforts.



Walk in Honor of People of All Ages Fighting Arthritis

Join the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Arthritis Walk, a signature event hosted in cities across our region. Walks honor children and adults with arthritis as we fight to end this serious, debilitating and unacceptable disease. Click here to check out this year’s Arthritis Walk Honorees – the Faces of Arthritis – and get more information about walks near you.

Get in the Game

My college roommate, Valerie, and I had been on a lot of crazy adventures in our first year of college, but now I was convinced that she had really lost her mind. The thought that we should try out for the college rugby team was insane to me. Click here to read how Jennifer Asmonga got off of the sidelines and into the game.
Upcoming JA Events
Get involved with the Arthritis Foundation and be a part of the fight against arthritis! The Arthritis Foundation offers educational programs and fun events throughout the year.
National JA Conference, July 18-21
The National JA Conference is a three-day experience where parents connect with leading specialists, get updates on the latest research and network with other parents. For kids with arthritis and their siblings it’s three days of fun in a place where everyone understands what it’s like to have arthritis. This year the conference will be held in Anaheim, CA, July 18-21. Scholarships are available. For more information about scholarships, contact your local Arthritis Foundation office.

JA Camp
Camps for kids with arthritis provide a place for campers to build confidence, try new activities and make friends. For more information about a camp in your area, click on the links below:

-Camp Dakota in Lapeer, Michigan

-Camp JRA in Eastern Pennsylvania (note that camp is full for 2013)

-Camp Wekandu near Cincinnati, Ohio

-Flying Horse Farms between Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio (note that camp is full for 2013)

JA Family Day and Family Camp
A Family Day is an educational and fun way to get involved as well as to learn more about arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation. Check out these upcoming opportunities:

-Pittsburgh JA Family Day at the Zoo and Aquarium, June 29, 2013

-Annie Anderson Fall Family Camp in Cincinnati, October 5-6, 2013

Contact your local office for additional details.  More JA Family Day events are in the works! Stay tuned for more information.

Other Ways to Get Involved
If you or your kids love cars, check out the Concours d’Elegance in Cincinnati and the Arthritis Foundation Auto Show in Columbus. Both events will feature activities for kids with arthritis, including a special opportunity for them to participate as youth judges. For more information about the Concours d’Elegance, contact Kelly Case at, and for more information about the Auto Show, contact Morgan Patten at

Arthritis Foundation - Great Lakes Region
Serving the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
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