In the United States, more than 300,000 children are living with a form of juvenile arthritis, which is about one child in every 250, according to the Arthritis Foundation. July is dedicated to recognizing those children and their families battling the disease.
The Arthritis Foundation describes juvenile arthritis as an “umbrella term” for many types of autoimmune diseases, inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatoid conditions in children under the age of 16. Each type has different symptoms and signs that affect joints, eyes, muscles and more. Unfortunately, there is still no cure.
To support these children, the Arthritis Foundation hosts approximately 50 JA camps across the country; provides JA Power packs to help recently diagnosed children and their families better understand arthritis; and helps them access necessary medical care. AOII supports this work by volunteering at camps or fundraising money for these causes.
Alpha Omicron Pi chapters across North America volunteer at JA camps and fundraise through Strike Out Arthritis! events, Jingle Bell Run and Walk to Cure Arthritis, and more each year. AOII presented pandas to children at the JA Conference in Houston in July and will present more pandas at the JA Conference in Indianapolis in August as well.
Other ways exist for you to help find a cure for juvenile arthritis as well. Look on the “Volunteer” page of the Arthritis Foundation’s website to find your local leadership board to become involved locally or find other ways to support the organization’s mission. You can also donate directly to the Arthritis Foundation on its website.
AOII was founded on the idea that service not only in your campus community but the world around you is important. By supporting those with arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation, you can make an impact across the world.