MacKenzie is 13 years old from Cornwall, PE. Since she was 7 years old MacKenzie has taken medication on a daily basis and gets injections in her wrists and ankles to combat juvenile arthritis – a form of childhood arthritis with no known cause or cure.
For the past three summers, MacKenzie has attended The Arthritis Society’s Camp JoinTogether, a overnight camp for children and youth aged 8-17 living with juvenile arthritis. Campers take part in a variety of specialized activities including: canoeing, drama, cooking, environmental education, outdoor recreation, fine arts, boating, and most importantly meeting other children that share similar experiences.
“My favourite part of camp is meeting all the new people who deal with the same stuff I do,” explains MacKenzie.
Although some days are harder than others, MacKenzie stays active in sports. She has spent two years doing cheerleading and looks forward to trying hockey this year. She enjoys meeting other children at Camp JoinTogether who understand what she goes through, as she only knows one other student in her school also living with arthritis.
MacKenzie enjoys Camp JoinTogether so much, and wanted to build awareness that children get arthritis too, that she asked her principal if she could host an awareness and fundraising day. She hoped this day would help to to send more children to Camp while making other students aware of juvenile arthritis. MacKenzie was elated when the answer was yes.
After putting posters around the school encouraging other students to “Wear Blue to Support Juvenile Arthritis and bring a dollar donation for The Arthritis Society,” she saw most students dress in support and she raised over $70 dollars to send children to Camp JoinTogether.
“I’m shy and I could never see myself doing something like this before so I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there,” MacKenzie describes. “Maybe other students learned that arthritis doesn’t just affect older people.”
If you know a child living with juvenile arthritis who would enjoy Camp JoinTogether call Jone at 902-429-7025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Register today to attend Camp JoinTogether 2017