Arthritis Matters - May 2019


British Columbia

Indigenous Community Outreach

Recognizing the higher rates of arthritis among Indigenous groups, we previously funded Dr. Diane Lacaille to develop a First Nations Arthritis Education & Wellness Program (AWP). Following the success of the pilot program in Haida Gwaii, we have committed to further funding.

The program starts in May with a two-day training workshop in Vancouver for community-based health-care workers. Those health-care workers will then conduct six community workshops over the coming months, engaging arthritis patients and their families in the development of the AWP and resource materials. Patient support will be provided during these workshops.

At the end of the program, community participants will take part in a series of surveys to measure arthritis knowledge, levels of adherence to self-management and treatment plans as well as changes in their physical and mental-health status.

Leave a Legacy Month - Driving for Deirdre

Photo of Chris Beresford with the beetle car - Race for DeirdreVancouver Island brothers John and Chris Beresford are serious automotive enthusiasts. They are also the only all-Canadian team in the 2019 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, which starts in Beijing on June 2. John and Chris are taking part in this incredible adventure to raise funds for the Arthritis Society in memory of John’s late wife Deirdre. She passed away in April 2016 due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, from which she had suffered painfully since the 1980s. And John isn’t just raising money, he’s leaving it behind, too. The memory of Deidre’s love for volunteer work moved him to make us a beneficiary in his will. 




The aroma of melted chocolate and toasted marshmallows filled the air during the Faces of Childhood Arthritis fundraising dinner held April 11th in Winnipeg.

The former luncheon event evolved this year into a summer-camp themed evening, where s’mores, a camp-fire sing-a-long and plaid shirts were all part of the fun. The annual event is a celebration of the enduring strength and tenacity of kids who live with Childhood Arthritis and serves as a fundraiser for Arthritis Society activities that meet the needs of children and families in Manitoba.

Donna Wills, regional manager for the Manitoba/Nunavut Division, says that one of the highlights of the evening for the 130 guests was the eight child ambassadors, ranging in age from 8 to 14 years, who shared their arthritis stories and answered questions at each of the tables.

“Many guests commented on how inspiring the ambassadors were with their positive, won’t-stop-me attitudes,” she says. “We would like to thank our dinner sponsors, AbbVie and Amgen, and our other sponsors for their support.”

Faces of Childhood Arthritis fundraising dinnerThis year, Faces raised $30,000 to help keep the registration fee fixed at just $100 per child for Camp Limitless, open to children aged 7 to 17 years with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. This new Childhood Arthritis Camp will be hosted at BB Camp, an excellent facility located at Lake of the Woods, Ontario, where children who often don’t get the chance to experience summer camp can relax, have fun and meet other children just like them.

Transportation to and from camp is available from Winnipeg.

Registration for Manitoba’s first childhood arthritis camp is open for kids who live in Eastern Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Western Ontario. For details, visit



Registration for the third annual summer camp for children with arthritis is well underway in Alberta.

Image of kids at Camp Kindle“We are at 50 per cent capacity,” says Kristin Skelton, mission coordinator for the Arthritis Society, Alberta and Northwest Territories Division. “We have kids from all over the province coming to Camp All In This Together in July. They can hardly wait to see their friends from last year and to meet new ones.”

The Alberta camp will be held July 8 to 12th at Camp Kindle, a modern camp facility located an hour north west of Calgary, owned and operated by the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

All campers will receive a cozy, hand-made blanket courtesy of Project Linus, a volunteer-run non-profit organization that provides the security, warmth and comfort of a blanket to children who are ill.

The week-long camp is staffed by trained counselor and nursing staff with visits from some familiar faces from the pediatric rheumatology clinics in both major cities. Transportation is provided from Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary.

To ensure a spot at Camp All In This Together, register at



Educating our elected officials about arthritis

Photo of Educating our elected officials about arthritisOn April 10, The Arthritis Society – Quebec Division held an arthritis awareness day at the Quebec Parliament Building. They met with nearly half of the 125 Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) in the company of Chanelle Cartier, a woman with ankylosing spondylitis who is a great advocate of the cause. Many MNAs took the time to engage with us in a constructive discussion on the needs of people with arthritis. One of these MNAs was Danielle McCann, Quebec's Minister of Health and Social Services. The Arthritis Society was very satisfied with how the day went and wants to thank Chanelle in particular for her remarkable help and passionate advocacy.


Learn, Connect, Flourish at the Arthritis Forum

Photo of last forum - photo credit: CosmoslmageRegistrations for the 6th edition of the Arthritis Forum, which will be held on October 26 at the Québec City Convention Centre, will begin June 6! This day of seminars devoted to arthritis will also be broadcast at seven satellite locations and webcast across the country. On-site attendees can choose from over twenty seminars and workshops and also attend the exhibitor fair.

The Forum will be a day of discussion, motivation and hope. Don’t let arthritis isolate you: come join us!

Logo of the Arthritis Forum
OCTOBER 26, 2019
Québec City Convention Centre
Learn. Network. Flourish.


Gain more knowledge with the hand in hand program 

The Hand in Hand program is offering many educational activities and workshops before the summer break! This month includes a seminar on helping siblings cope with chronic disease in the family (available in French only) that will be webcast on May 2 from Québec City, a series of mental health workshops (available in French only), along with sessions led by physiotherapy students. Visit our calendar to for afull list of events.


Images of volunteers and their warm blanketWarm blankets for our wee ones!

Our young campers at the Kids on the Move Camp will get a cozy night's sleep thanks to blankets and socks made by Doudou Réconfort in Saint-Hyacinthe. Overall, 41 blankets were quilted together from old Walk for Arthritis t-shirts. What a great way to recycle! A big thank-you to these fairy godmothers and to the magician who lent them a hand. (picture: Doudou Réconfort)

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