Third Annual ‘Faces of Childhood Arthritis Luncheon' Marks Childhood Arthritis Month

March 1, 2017

The Arthritis Society, Prairie Division-Manitoba/Nunavut presents the third annual ‘Faces of Childhood Arthritis Luncheon’, to be held on Friday, March 10, at The Met, from 11:30am to 1:00pm. Ace Burpee will be the emcee.

The event will mark Childhood Arthritis Month, highlighting eight young Manitobans living with juvenile arthritis (JA). “Our ‘Faces of Childhood Arthritis’ have lived with JA for a combined total of 90.5 years,” said Donna Wills, Regional Manager of The Arthritis Society.

“Together, those years represent nearly a century of surgeries, of chronic pain, of needing walkers or wheelchairs, and medications. Arthritis takes a serious social, emotional and physical toll on a child and often presents challenges for the entire family. It affects 1,500 infants-young adults in Manitoba. There is no cure.”

Dr. Lily Lim, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, University of Manitoba; Staff Rheumatologist, HSC Children’s Hospital has received a research grant from The Society to study grade 12 students living with diseases like JA and lupus. She will give an update on her project, Education Outcomes of Childhood-onset Chronic Rheumatic Diseases, as part of the event program.

Luncheon guests will also hear from sisters Natalie and Allison Tucker, who have lived with juvenile arthritis for a combined 19 years. “Some mornings Ally won’t get out of bed because she hurts too much,” said 13-year-old Natalie. “We need a needle every week so the arthritis doesn’t get worse,” said 10-year-old Allison. Their mother Elizabeth adds that for her and her husband, “watching our daughters in pain is the hardest part of our parenting.”

One of the ‘Faces of Childhood Arthritis’ will visit each table and share their story during the event. Funds raised at the luncheon will support the Manitoba’s Childhood Arthritis Program, unique in Canada. In addition to a Family Day, the program includes an elementary school reading component, and JA presentations to university and college students.

“We are committed to bringing support to JA kids and their families, in every aspect of their lives,” said Wills.

Visit arthritis.ca/childhood to join us, give, and learn more.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Tanya Misseghers, BA Hons., Community Engagement & Marketing Coordinator
The Arthritis Society, Prairie Division-Manitoba/Nunavut
Tel: 204.942.4892, Toll-free: 1.800.321.1433 e-mail: tmisseghers@arthritis.ca

Available for interviews:

Faces of Childhood Arthritis Manitoba/Nunavut
Donna Wills, Regional Manager The Arthritis Society, Prairie Division-Manitoba/Nunavut
Dr. Lily Lim, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, University of Manitoba; Staff Rheumatologist, HSC Children’s

About the Arthritis Society

The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing more than $195 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information and to make a donation, visit www.arthritis.ca.