Project Thrive - London

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Join the Arthritis Society for Project THRIVE – fun for families living with childhood arthritis.

Project Thrive
  • Learn how to THRIVE with arthritis
  • Meet other families facing the same challenges (you’re not alone!)
  • Teach siblings what life is like with arthritis
  • Have fun
And while your child is doing cool stuff with us, parents will be learning things too.

Event Details

  • When: Sunday, March 6, 2016
  • Where: YMCA of Western Ontario, 382 Waterloo St, London, ON N6B 2N8
  • Registration: 12:30 p.m.
  • Start time: 1:00 p.m.
  • End time: 5:00 p.m. (with the option of a family free swim after)
Registration is FREE, but space is limited

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Project Thrive Event Details

Project Thrive London12:30 p.m. - Registration
1:00 p.m. - Welcome
1:10 p.m. - Group Activity 1
2:00 p.m. - Parents Panel
2:00 p.m. - Teen Talk

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Heroes Circle (Joel Ender) [ Kids Activities ]
3:00 - 3:30 p.m. -  London Children’s Museum [ Kids Activities ]
3:30 p.m. - Snack
4:00 p.m. - Group Activity 2
5:00 p.m. -Wrap Up- Optional Family Swim

Program Details:

Group Activity 1: Pilates 

Parents Panel  

Parents can learn too! Join medical experts at this unique Parents Panel. Learn about the latest research, links between physical activity and pain management, nutrition, and more. Do you have questions? Now is the time to have them answered. This session is for YOU, parents.
  • Physiotherapist: Marian Kirby, PT, The Arthritis Society 
  • Pediatric Rheumatologist: Dr. Daniela Ardelean, Children’s Hospital London Health Science Centres 
  • Registered Dietician: Jessica Cane, Children’s Care Program, London Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr. Erica Gold, Psychologist, Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre: TBD
Teens in a arthritis workshop

Teen Talk (Teens only)

Life as a teen is complicated: you’ve got a lot going on even without your arthritis. In this session – only for teens – you will take part in a frank, open and safe discussion about challenges and questions facing teens, how they are impacted by arthritis, and how to keep a handle on things so that you can live your life without neglecting your health. Guest speakers will draw on their own recent experiences to spark discussion, but it’s your experiences and questions that will shape the conversation.

Lead by:
  • Michelle Diebold, Nurse Case Manager, London Health Sciences Centre Children’s Hospital
  • Debra Anckaert, Social Worker, The Arthritis Society 
  • Special Guest Speakers

Kids Activities: Heroes Circle Class

Project Thrive LondonSpecially trained Martial Arts Therapists will be in uniform and run the kids through some basic "karate" stuff, a quick, light exercise (jumping jacks, for instance), then show them how to punch/kick and let them hit some soft pads.

About Heroes Circle: We teach the mind-body techniques of Martial arts instruction, breath work and meditation to empower children beyond the pain and discomfort of disease. 
Using martial arts therapy, The Heroes Circle teaches children and their siblings to:
  • Regain a sense of control over the chaos of their lives.
  • Become empowered partners in their own healing.
  • Push away the message of pain.
  • Provide inspiration and light to others facing life-challenges.
  • See themselves as victors, not victims.
Martial arts techniques unlock the student’s Power, and the focused breathing and relaxation work brings them Peace. While teaching The Heroes Circle’s Breath Brake to others, they find great Purpose in their young lives.

Weekly classes available. For more information please visit

Heroes Circle

Kids Activities: London Children’s Museum

London Children's Museum

Group Activity 2: London Lightning

Hit the hardwood with the pros! Learn skills and drills from London’s own basketball stars, the London Lightning of the NBLC!  These professional players will put the kids through their paces, developing agility, ball control and other essentials of the game in a fun and interactive setting that’s all about healthy movement.

London Lighting

The Children's Hospital! - London Health Sciences Centre

Community Partner

YMCA of Western Ontario

You’re not alone - 24,000 Canadian families are coping with one or more forms of childhood arthritis.

You don’t have to face it alone, either - The Arthritis Society and London Health Sciences Centre are here to help.

In addition to the programming you’ll experience at Project THRIVE, you can also check out our childhood arthritis page for tools and resources. And don’t forget to visit Children’s Hospital at LHSC for more information about childhood arthritis.

Learn more about childhood arthritis  Visit Children’s Hospital at LHSC