I wanted to send a little note to thank each of you for volunteering to be an E-Advocate with the Arthritis Foundation! Even though what you do as an e-advocate doesn’t feel like much, it really is! When you answer an email request to send a letter, all of your voices combined make a difference!
Recently, my eleven year old son and I attended the Arthritis Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC. (My son Cameron was diagnosed at the age of 8 with juvenile arthritis.) This event is held yearly and arthritis advocates from across the country come together to let Congress know arthritis is not acceptable! We met with our newly elected Representative, Andy Barr. In this meeting, we learned that Rep. Barr’s sister was diagnosed with arthritis at a young age. It was a very good meeting because I could tell that he had been there and had seen what arthritis could do to not only a child, but the entire family. He also saw that with support, arthritis doesn’t have to define a person. Take minute and listen to the video Rep. Barr recorded to encourage us.
In our conversation, I invited him to the Lexington Arthritis Walk on April 27. He immediately asked his assistant to write down the information and put it on his calendar. He vowed to support those of us in KY with arthritis and said he would be at the walk as long as his wife wasn’t in labor that weekend.
I want to challenge each and every one of you to come out for the walk. You can walk on your own, form a team or even join our team! Ask your friends and family to join you and if they aren’t able, ask them to support the walk financially. Spread the word to co-workers and think about forming a team at your company.
If questions are asked where the money goes, you can assure them most of the money raised will stay in our area. It goes to support families, provide education and pay for programs such as Tai Chi and water fitness. Cameron attended a summer camp last year through the Arthritis Foundation at no cost to our family! Scholarships are also offered to local families of children with JA to attend the national JA Conference each summer. Our family was able to attend this conference for two years. It has made a huge difference in our lives! Cameron met other kids with arthritis and our family made life-long friends. We listened to speakers from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and learned about the latest research being done to hopefully lead to a cure. We discussed issues faced with our children such as school, bullying, nutrition, sports, etc.
Let’s make sure Lexington knows arthritis is not acceptable! Make a stand now!
Arthritis Ambassador KY District 6