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:
- Juvenile Arthritis: Disease Basics
- Having Juvenile Arthritis: What to Expect
- Juvenile Arthritis Treatment Plan
- Kids Get Arthritis Too (KGAT) website
JA Welcome Kit
There are many questions and concerns when a child is diagnosed with a rheumatic disease. The welcome care packages ensure that many of these questions are answered and resources are offered. The AFUMR's JA Welcome Care Package includes education about juvenile arthritis, medical resources, newsletters, information for teachers and school nurses, information about our juvenile programs and services and more!
Request your FREE JA Welcome Kit today!
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.
Juvenile Arthritis Family Network (JAFN)
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.
- Saturday, December 14 - Join the JAFN group at the Madison Jingle Bell Run/Walk
- Saturday, February 22 - Young adult panel with facilitator Dr. Zach Pruhs (meeting at DreamBank)
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).
- February 22- Speaker TBD
- March 22- Speaker TBD
- April 26 - Speaker TBD
Questions about JAFN? Contact Liz Atchison at 651-229-5371.
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
Contact us to be on the 2014 invitation list.
Juvenile Arthritis National Conference
Save the date for the 2014 JA Conference!
July 3-6, 2014
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
JA Family Day
The AFUMR invites you to attend our 13th annual JA Family Day. Come and renew friendships and meet other families of children with juvenile arthritis. Enjoy a day of fun and socialization. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with other JA families.
Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Where: Country Springs Hotel and Resort
Contact Karen Sawicki to RSVP or for more details.
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 Karen Sawicki about JA resources and opportunities to connect with other families.