Juvenile Arthritis

Whether you or someone you know was recently diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) or you just discovered the Arthritis Foundation Upper Midwest Region (AFUMR) - you've come to the right place! We are here to help by offering programs and resources to support kids with arthritis and their families.

We value families who face the challenges of arthritis and related diseases. Throughout the year, we host fun and educational events, provide up-to-date information on disease management and arthritis research and facilitate connections with other JA families. 

Learn more about JA: 

Take control with the JA Power Pack! 

There are many questions and concerns when a child is diagnosed with a rheumatic disease. The JA Power Pack is a backpack filled with useful information and tools for newly-diagnosed children, teens and their families. The JA Power Pack includes education about juvenile arthritis, medical resources, newsletters, information for teachers and school nurses and more!

Request your FREE JA Power Pack today!

Once you receive your JA Power Pack, you will also be sent a packet with local information. Find your local office


kidZone - Juvenile Arthritis Local e-newsletter

kidZone is the Upper Midwest Region’s e-newsletter.  This newsletter contains exciting information about juvenile arthritis, research updates, juvenile arthritis camps, juvenile arthritis conferences, JAFN meetings, and the latest juvenile arthritis news.

 Join the kidZone mailing list 

Read recent kidZone e-newsletters:
November 2013
January 2014
March 2014

Juvenile Arthritis Family Network (JAFN)

JAFN is a monthly networking meeting for families who have a child living with juvenile arthritis. 

Download the Madison JAFN informational flier!  

The group meets at various locations four times a year. Meetings are from 10-noon and consist of speaker and discussion time for parents and social time for the kids. 

  • Friday, May 30 -                 JA Day at the Mallards Game


The group meets the second Saturday of each month (except for May, June, July and August). Meetings are from 10-noon and consist of speaker and discussion time for parents and social time for the kids. Meetings take place at the Arthritis Foundation office (10427 W. Lincoln Ave, Suite 1300, West Allis, WI 53227).

  • Saturday, June 7 -                 Therapeutic Qualities of Aquatic Therapy for those with JA       
                                                      Where: PROCare Therapy - Princeton Club 
                                                                    14999 W. Beloit Rd., New Berlin, WI 53151
                                                      When:   Noon - 2:00 (swimming included, don't forget your suits!)

Questions about JAFN? Contact Liz Atchison at 651-229-5371. 

To stay up to date with all the happenings, join our Facebook group.

JA Camps - Registration now open!

The Upper Midwest Region’s JA Camps are a six-day overnight camping experience for children ages 8 – 17 who have some forms of juvenile arthritis or related condition. We also host a day-long mini-camp at each camping experience for children ages 4-7 and their parent. Our mission is to provide a secure environment for children with arthritis to meet other kids and share opportunities to learn, engage in social activities and build mutual support and encouragement.  

Camp M.A.S.H. (Make Arthritis Stop Hurting) - Wisconsin Dells, WI
6 day camp program for kids with JA, ages 8-17
August 2-7, 2014

Camp M.A.S.H. (Make Arthritis Stop Hurting) Mini-Camp – Wisconsin Dells, WI
1 day camp program for kids with JA, ages 4-7, and one parent
August 2, 2014

Camp Cambria - Maple Lake, MN
6 day camp program for kids with JA, ages 8-17
August 10-15, 2014

Camp Cambria Mini-Camp - Maple Lake, MN
1 day camp program for kids with JA, ages 4-7, and one parent
August 10, 2014

Contact us to register today!


Juvenile Arthritis National Conference

Save the date for the 2014 JA Conference!
July 3-6, 2014
Keystone, CO

The 2014 National JA Conference will be hosted in Keystone, Colorado on July 3-6. Please join us for an unforgettable adventure in the gorgeous mountains of Colorado to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the JA Conference and to honor all the kids, teens and young adults who live with arthritis!

The JA Conference is the Arthritis Foundation’s signature, nationwide event for families affected by juvenile arthritis. Join us for a four-day education event that focuses on health, wellness and fun for children (kids with arthritis and siblings). 

The Upper Midwest Region offers scholarships based on financial need on a first come, first serve basis. Download the form here. Scholarship funds are limited and are given based on need. Questions please contact Liz Atchison at 651-229-5371.

Our family will be forever grateful for the generous scholarship we received from your Foundation. Without those funds we would not have been able to attend. Attending the conference brings so much joy to our family. The girls love the activities and friendships. This is a time for them to be in a safe place where it is 100% acceptable to just be themselves. For my husband and me, it is a chance to gain knowledge, make connections and fellowship with other amazing families. We learned so much at the conference and made some pretty unforgettable memories while doing so.

                        With heartfelt gratitude,
                        The Anderson Family; Alan, Brenda, Victoria and Juliana               

Note: This scholarship is available to families living in the Upper Midwest Region (MN, ND, SD and WI). Find your local office to request a local scholarship.

JA Family Day

Thank you to the more than 100 people who attended our 13th Annual Family Day on January 25 in Pewaukee, WI. Kristilynn Volkennan, PhD spoke on how “JA Affects the Entire Family" and shared some wonderful insight to parents who have a child living with JA. The kids had an amazing time playing games and learning camp songs. Following lunch, families were able to use the hotel’s waterpark for the remainder of the day. Thank you to all the families and volunteers who made this event possible, see you at Family Day 2015! 

Contact Liz Atchison to for more information on Family Day 2015.

 Advocacy for Children and Families

The Upper Midwest Region is constantly advocating for children with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Politicians, school nurses, teachers, health professionals and many other people are unaware that kids get arthritis too and that it is a major health concern. Advocacy allows for public education, understanding and changes in service as needed. 

Although juvenile arthritis affects some 300,000 children across the United States, there are currently fewer than 250 board-certified, practicing pediatric rheumatologists in the country. About 90 percent of those are clustered in and around large cities. 

Making sure that children who live in places without pediatric rheumatologists have access to quality and appropriate care is one of the Arthritis Foundation’s advocacy priorities. To help children become their own advocates, the Foundation holds an annual Kid’s Summit, in conjunction with our annual Advocacy Summit, where kids learn how to talk to lawmakers about the issues that directly impact their everyday well-being. 

By 2030, the Foundation will have helped more than 2,000 children and teens with juvenile arthritis develop into seasoned lobbyists with the skills to educate Congress about the impact of JA on kids and their families.

If you’re interested in attending the Advocacy Summit in D.C. or want to become an E-Advocate, you can learn more here

Juvenile Arthritis: Disease Basics

Juvenile arthritis (JA) is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger. Learn more about the disease. 

Living with Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis affects the whole family and there are many components to proper management of the disease. Read helpful articles about the different types of JA and how it’s diagnosed, possible causes of JA, the effect of JA on your joints and body, treatment options, medications, family life, school issues, the latest research and more!

Kids Get Arthritis Too (KGAT) Website

Check out our virtual community where you can find all you need to know about juvenile arthritis. You can learn about life with JA, meet other families, utilize endless resources and learn more about the Arthritis Foundation. Even youngsters can find information on juvenile arthritis and read stories about other children with the disease. A section is designed for three different age groups – kids (ages 6 to 9), tweens (ages 10 to 13) and teens (ages 14 to 18), the site enables them to learn about symptoms, treatments, doctor visits, growing up with JA and more!

Questions about juvenile arthritis or our programs?
Contact Liz Atchison about JA resources and opportunities to connect with other families.

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