|The internet has been a valuable source of information and support for me, so I wanted to create a website that might in some ways be helpful to others. If you know a child who has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) or if you want to learn more about this condition, you may find it interesting to read about our personal experience. I'm not a medical professional ... and I don't play one on the web ... but I felt that others might benefit from the sort of information that I can share. You can also get information here about a popular email-based support and information group for people involved with Juvenile Arthritis, called The JRA List.
At the very least, I hope that my collection of related internet links may be useful to you in helping to sort through the millions of arthritis-related websites in existence, while you search for more information and the answers to your questions about JRA.
|One of the main reasons for putting together this website is my personal commitment to helping spread awareness of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). Until 1995, I didn't even know what those initials stood for. Unfortunately, most people still don't. Despite increasing numbers of cases, JRA has still not received a lot of public recognition. For many, it remains a more personal struggle. Hopefully, this will change. When there's greater public awareness of a significant health problem it's more likely there will be funding made available for its' study. With continued research comes the development of new, safer, and more effective medications. It is my hope that one day ... in the not so distant future ... a cure will be discovered. Possibly even a vaccine that will help prevent JRA in future generations of children.|
|Before my son got sick, I wasn't aware that children could get arthritis. I believed, as many still do, that arthritis was a disease that affects mainly adults. I was surprised to learn that children of all ages can and do get arthritis. In fact, according to recent reports from the Arthritis Foundation, about 285,000 children in the United States have some form of arthritis. Between five and eighteen children out of every 100,000 develop arthritis each year. Before my son got sick, I wasn't aware that there are more than 100 different types of arthritis. I had no idea how serious the health impact of arthritis is. My son Joshua was diagnosed with the systemic form of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in May, 1995. I am no longer naive to the facts.|
|I hope that everyone who visits this website will leave with a little bit more knowledge and a much better understanding of JRA than when they arrived. I also hope that reading these pages will encourage more people to advocate on behalf of all of those whose lives are affected by JRA, that they'll contribute in some way to help spread the word that kids get arthritis, too. If these pages can help in some small way to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, answer some nagging questions, add some new insight, or make someone feel more hopeful that, despite having arthritis their child can have a full, productive, life and a bright future ... then it will have served it's purpose.|
|Well, I guess it's time for me to say so long ...
and for you to go ahead and start clicking.
|With Warmest Wishes and Aloha,|
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis