Taylor’s Story

At 9, Taylor was diagnosed with a disease that changed his life forever. Taylor was diagnosed with arthritis. It made life difficult, but eventually, he realized he is more than his arthritis. 

At the age of 9, Taylor really didn't know what arthritis was or who it affected. All he knew was that he was a shy kid who was just trying to get through school. One day, Taylor pulled off his socks and was shocked to see his ankle the size of a water balloon. At the time, his parents just thought he had a sprain and sent him to school the next day.  

For that whole week, Taylor would complain about his hands and right ankle, saying how much they hurt and that he couldn't do anything. Not really knowing what to do, his parents still sent him to school. Eventually, it got so bad during the school day that he had to call and ask to come home. He still remembers one of his teachers being skeptical and saying he didn’t look very sick. 

The process of being diagnosed with arthritis is long, especially for kids. A local doctor said Taylor should wrap his ankle. The next doctor put Taylor in a boot but said that he couldn't have arthritis because his symptoms were only in one ankle. Finally, after three months, a pediatric rheumatologist took one look and confirmed Taylor has arthritis. At the time, Taylor didn’t understand what arthritis was. He felt alone and was worried for the future and scared he would be left out.  

While researching, Taylor’s mom stumbled upon the Arthritis Foundation. She and Taylor went to a local meeting and started becoming active members of the arthritis community. They participated in the Jingle Bell Run and in the Art for Arthritis gala. Taylor finally realized he wasn't alone. He also attended Camp Cambria, a summer camp for kids with juvenile arthritis. There were over 100 other campers who knew exactly what Taylor was going through. He made lifelong friendships and learned more about his disease. 

Taylor wanted people in his community to learn more about arthritis. He started a campaign at his school and encouraged students to wear blue to show support for people with arthritis.  He spoke at South Dakota’s Art for Arthritis gala about camp and shared his amazing experience. While Taylor’s own arthritis had gone into remission, it didn’t stop him from continuing to raise his voice. He became a Jingle Bell Run Youth Honoree and fundraised for the event.  

After all his fundraising success, Taylor was feeling quite accomplished. Unfortunately, his doctors had unwelcome news. Not only was Taylor no longer in remission, his arthritis had spread to his knees, thumbs and toes. He was crushed but refused to let the news break his spirit. He hosted another day at his school to spread awareness about his disease. 

Now a rising high school sophomore, Taylor is hosting his own Arthritis Foundation fundraiser in honor of Arthritis Awareness Month in May. He also competes through the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America to learn how to be a successful advocate. His project – It's All A Joint Effort – showcases Taylor’s efforts to make arthritis a talked about issue in our nation.  

“I am still out of remission,” says Taylor. “But I hope to go back in it someday. I have hope in a cure. I have hope that I have made a difference. And for all the arthritis warriors out there, remember, you may have arthritis, but it doesn’t have you.” 

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    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

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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. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, and more.

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

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


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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Live Yes! INSIGHTS


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.

Trailblazer

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

Visionary

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.

Pioneer

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.

Pacesetter

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.

Signature

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.

Supporting

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