Arthritis Matters - November 2018

National Highlights


Canada legalizes recreational cannabis use

As of October 17, 2018, the federal Cannabis Act, Bill C-45, makes it legal for individuals in Canada to obtain cannabis outside of the medical cannabis process. However, the rules are different for recreational versus medical use. As such, we have updated our Guide to Medical Cannabis brochure to help explain these differences and help you understand the rights and responsibilities of medical cannabis users.

Although cannabis is now legally available without medical authorization, your rights as a patient are only protected if you are registered to access cannabis for medical purposes. The Arthritis Society strongly encourages people who require cannabis for medical purposes to follow the registration process. Benefits of accessing through a doctor’s authorization are as highlighted in the infographic below:

Why accessing medical cannabis through a doctor is better for patients

To learn more about medical cannabis, please visit And for stories from real patients about medical cannabis use and more, sign up for our new newsletter, Flourish.



You have only a few days left to sign up for the 5th edition of the Arthritis Forum

Arthritis ForumThe online registration period to the 5th edition of the Arthritis Forum ends on *November 7! The Forum, held on November 10, is an opportunity for people battling the devastating effects of arthritis to gain knowledge on the disease, as well as a place to discuss, network and share experiences. These social connections are more precious as we know that arthritis is often associated with isolation. Join us – you are not alone with this disease!

The forum features:

  • 26 seminars, in English and French
  • 10 webinars in English and French
  • 7 satellite events
  • 9 workshops
  • Prominent speakers, including 10 rheumatologists

Visit our new website to register:

*You can also register on site the morning of the event.



Innovative new tools for people with Psoriatic Arthritis

Friday, October 19th marked the first-ever national Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) Day in Canada. PsA is a chronic disease that affects all ages, causing significant pain and disability, and often first presents between the ages of 20 and 40, in both men and women. Various patient advocacy groups across the country joined together in an online awareness building campaign in support of the approximately 90,000 Canadians living with PsA.

In recognition of this inaugural day, the Arthritis Society has developed a new infographic about the disease, previewed below:

What is psoriatic arthritis (PsA)?

Three of every 10 people with psoriasis will be diagnosed with PsA. If someone in your family has psoriasis, talk to your doctor about PsA if you have joint pain or stiffness, even if you don't have psoriasis. Treatments are available, but it’s important to diagnose and treat PsA early to avoid permanent joint damage.

For more information, please check out our patient journey flow chart and our PsA information page.



New Ease-of-Use Partners

The Arthritis Society does not determine the therapeutic value of products and the designation is not intended as a general product endorsement.

The Arthritis Society’s Ease-of-Use program is designed to recognize ingenious products designed to accommodate the everyday challenges of life with arthritis, and to encourage more manufacturers to design their products with the needs of people with arthritis in mind. An independent expert tests the products to ensure that they are easier for people with arthritis to hold, use, or interact with. Qualifying products receive the Arthritis Society’s Ease-of-Use certification, which the company can use to promote their products.

In this edition of Arthritis Matters we wanted to feature the following Ease-of-Use certified products:

Safe Step Tubs

Safe Step TubsSafe Step Tubs combine the healing effects of hydrotherapy with safety measures in place for those who need it most. Many people living with arthritis find it difficult to bathe and even stepping in and out of the tub can be a hazard. Safe Step Tubs offer a walk-in, sit-in bathtub that allows users to simply and safely walk in and sit down. The tubs provide therapeutic benefits which help to increase mobility, relieve pain, boost energy and improve sleep – areas that are most important to those living with arthritis.

For more information please visit

Milgard Windows and Door

Milgard WindowThe Milgard SmartTouch® Lock system is an industry first and is secure and easy to use. The system makes it easy for people to operate the lock and open or close their window with one hand.

For more information please visit

To learn more about the Ease-of-Use visit:



Autumn brings fundraising excitement in Ontario!

Rock the jointAs the summer season came to an end, the Arthritis Society Ontario Division prepared for an autumn full of fundraising events throughout the province. Special events are a key component to our fundraising efforts and teams across the country are consistently trying to take their events to the next level. The Fall 2018 season is no exception to that and the Ontario Division has made large strides to enhance the growth and development of special events fundraising in Ontario.

On October 3rd, the Arthritis Society hosted the 10th anniversary of Rock the Joint in Toronto. This exciting special event delivers an exciting rock music experience to raise funds and awareness for arthritis. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the event moved to a larger venue much better suited for live music and a higher capacity. This year, talented music groups competed for the title of top band of the evening and brought new energy to the event. The event saw an increase in attendance and raised over $37,000.

All-In for Arthritis Poker GalaModelled after successful predecessors in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, the Southwestern Ontario team hosted the inaugural All-In for Arthritis Poker Gala in London on October 12th. This event had wonderful results for its first year in terms of donor engagement and fundraising. Many people from previous Arthritis Society events in Southwestern Ontario and new attendees came out to the London Poker Gala to share in the VIP experience. Event ambassador, Mickaela Collins, delivered a moving story on her early life with childhood arthritis which explained the effects the disease has made on her life. The first year of this special event in London was a wonderful success - over $50,000 was raised and everyone is looking forward to it next year!

There are numerous special events held by the Arthritis Society throughout the year in Ontario. Supporting these events by attending, volunteering, or donating all contribute to supporting the over 6 million Canadians living with arthritis.

Find a special event in your area by visiting the special events page on the Arthritis Society’s website.



Trifluvians, we thank you 24,240 times!

Trifluvians, we thank you 24,240 times!The 8th edition of the Bouchées, champagne et réseautage fund-raising night (Appetizers, champagne and networking) was held on September 20 in Trois-Rivières and was once again, a great success! Chaired by Ms. Maude Duguay of the Société Immobilière Duguay (Duguay Real Estate Company), the event raised $24,240 in support of the Arthritis Society. We wish to thank the members of the event committee for their commitment.



There is Art in Arthritis

There is Art in ArthritisDon’t know what to buy for a loved one? Visit our art exhibition showcasing George E. Russell’s and Marilyne Prévost’s work at the Montreal World Trader Center between December 10 and 14. These artists generously donated their entire collections to the Arthritis Society. Funds raised will be entirely and directly allocated to our education programs. Come purchase valuable works of art at favourable prices!


New Brunswick

Long waits for joint replacement surgery an election issue

We‘ll confess: we were expecting to thank everyone who advocated for shorter wait times for joint replacement once the New Brunswick general election was decided. Here we are a month later – and while the election is still unresolved, it’s long past time that we said thank you to everyone who supported our wait times advocacy during the election campaign.

And while the results of the election are still muddy, the need for shorter joint replacement surgery wait times came through crystal clear – you brought the needs of people with arthritis into the forefront of the health care discussion.

Arthritis is the leading cause of joint replacement, including over 99% of knee replacements and over 80% of hip replacements. Today 146,000 people in New Brunswick have arthritis. That’s 1 in 4. By 2035, over 183,000 people in New Brunswick will have arthritis, which means even more people will need joint replacement.

100 per cent of the respondents to our survey indicated that meeting recommended wait times is “very important”, and most also indicated that symptoms of severe arthritis have an “enormous impact” on their daily life. Here is just one of the stories you shared with us:

I have to take so many painkillers just to function. I get so stiff through the night that I can’t even roll over on my own. Sleep is ruined from taking so many painkillers – and I can only imagine what they’re doing to my liver. If wait times were shorter it would be great not to have to put up with so much pain and take so many pills." – Survey respondent

In the weeks and months to come, no matter which party forms the new government, we’ll continue to work to hold them accountable for ensuring that people with arthritis in New Brunswick have timely and consistent access to joint replacement surgery and other necessary care, regardless of where in the province they live.

There’s more advocacy work to do on this and other issues impacting New Brunswickers living with arthritis, and we’re hoping we can count on your support going forward. To stay in touch with our advocacy efforts and learn how you can help, please click on the STAY ENGAGED link below to indicate your interest.

Thanks again!



Prince Edward Island


Family Day

The Arthritis Society is thrilled to announce that we will be hosting our first Arthritis Family Day on PEI on Tuesday, November 27th. All families with children living with juvenile arthritis are invited to attend this event. Arthritis Family Day will feature Dr. Adam Huber, Pediatric Rheumatologist at the IWK Health Centre who will be answering questions about childhood arthritis. The event will also feature fun for the whole family with activities and food for both children and parents. For more information or to register, please contact the Arthritis Society at 1-800-321-1433 or


Nova Scotia

Taking Charge of Arthritis

Saturday, November 24, 2018, the Arthritis Society, Nova Scotia Division will host an all-day symposium, Taking Charge of Arthritis at The Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, 1181 Hollis Street, Halifax. For more information or to Register call 1.800.321.1433 or email



Virtual Everest

Climb Everest. Conquer Arthritis. November 4.

Are you ready for the ultimate test of endurance in Halifax? Participants climb Citadel Hill National Historic Site a total of 80 times, up steep terrain that simulates the elevation from sea level to summit of Mount Everest. Your efforts support the Arthritis Society’s vital programs, services, advocacy and research for the one in three Nova Scotians living with arthritis. It’s a big challenge, an important cause and a whole lot of FUN!

Are you ready to move mountains for Nova Scotians living with arthritis? Register today at



Jingle Bell Walk & Run for Arthritis

Let’s Join Together and continue to make Camp JoinTogether possible.

The Arthritis Society fund raises year-round to send Atlantic Canadian children living with childhood arthritis to Camp JoinTogether. Help us raise funds, so as many children as possible can have a summer experience they’ll never forget.

On Sunday, November 25th, 2018 the Arthritis Society will host Jingle Bell Walk and Run for Arthritis in Support of Camp JoinTogether; a morning of food, fun and festivities at the Waterfront Warehouse, 1549 Lower Water Street, Halifax. You can choose from a 1km or 3km walk along the Halifax waterfront with jingle bells to make some noise about childhood arthritis.

If you are unable to attend, you can participate virtually by raising funds in your community.

Register today at:


Newfoundland and Labrador

Jingle Bell Walk and Run for Arthritis in Support of Childhood Arthritis 

The Arthritis Society’s Jingle Bell Walk and Run in support of childhood arthritis, will once again be happening this year in Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday, November 18th, 2018. This Walk and Run will be raising funds for childhood arthritis research, programs, and initiatives in Newfoundland and Labrador. Participants in the Jingle Bell Walk and Run can choose between a 1km, 2.5km, or 5km route at Bowring Park Bungalow, St. John’s. The event will have holiday fun for the whole family with cookie decorating, ornament making, crafts, and pictures with Santa. So come dressed in your favourite holiday costume or ugly Christmas sweater and we’ll provide the jingle bells. Let’s make some noise for childhood arthritis! For more information or to register, visit us online or contact the Arthritis Society at 1.800.321.1433 or

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