MacKenzie’s Story  

After a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 8, MacKenzie worked hard to not let her disease prevent her from just being a kid and achieving her goals. 

MacKenzie Meyer is 19 years old and has been living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) since she was 8. While her symptoms were worrisome – swollen ankles and wrists, a full-body rash and high fever – it took nearly a year to find a doctor who could help. Finally, while visiting the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  

After years of trial and error, MacKenzie’s arthritis is now under control “I am thankful every day for the health care team that has been by my side since day one,” she says. 
The biggest obstacle MacKenzie faced as a child living with JRA was just being a normal kid. She knew it wasn’t normal to take a shot every week or to travel to Minneapolis every month for appointments. She wanted the normalcy her friends all experienced, and she wanted to be able to participate in everything they did. MacKenzie decided that no matter her situation, she wouldn’t let her disease to stop her. 
Her advice to newly diagnosed families is that things get better. “When the arthritis is not under control, it is a lot to deal with,” she says. “It seems like the disease is the only thing that defines your life. Once the arthritis is under control, you find out what works best for you. Just remember that there are families out there that are going through the exact same thing, and that no one is alone when fighting this disease.” 
MacKenzie’s hope for arthritis is that it will be diagnosed earlier in people, rather than letting it progress and cause damage. Since many hospitals do not have pediatric rheumatologists, kids wait for months or years to be seen. Many even have to travel hundreds of miles for an appointment. North Dakota just welcomed their first pediatric rheumatologist, but there is still a long way to go for families to get the resources they need for the diagnosis of arthritis.  
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Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

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Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

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Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

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Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

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I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

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More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

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Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.