Arthritis Matters - September 2019

It’s Arthritis Awareness Month!

September is Arthritis Awareness Month and this year we are highlighting the relationship between Arthritis & Women.

The numbers speak for themselves. And they need to change. ​

  • 1 in 4 Canadian Women have arthritis. ​
  • 3.5 million women are living with the devastating effects of this disease today. ​
  • Over half of Canadian women with arthritis are younger than 65.​ ​

If we don’t take action, this is set to rise to over 5 million women by 2040.

Learn More

Arthritis Talks

Join us for our next Arthritis Talks – Arthritis & Work on Saturday, September 21, 2019. This educational talk will feature an employment lawyer speaking to considerations for employers and employees affected by arthritis, what to think about when using medical cannabis while working, and will include an occupational therapist that will speak to ergonomics in the workplace and discuss how to balance your work and life with arthritis in order to be your best.

Register today

Show Your Support

Your support is vital. Donate now to help fund innovative research and education resources.

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British Columbia

Education, education, education

Summer’s over, school’s in for fall. Registration is now open for the second in our series of nationwide educational symposia on Saturday, September 21. Arthritis and Work, which is hosted this time in BC, will give you information on:

  • Employment laws Considerations for employers and employees affected by arthritis
  • The do’s and don’ts of medical cannabis while working
  • The social aspects of working with arthritis

Sign up at to join us at the live in Kamloops or Victoria, for the webinar, or for the viewing event in Cranbrook.

Register today

New kids on the block

Arthritis Camp BCSummer is camp season, and that’s no different for kids with arthritis in BC. Camp Capilano hosted 29 happy campers for four days in July, who had a wonderful time in North Vancouver. Arthritis didn’t stop them having fun, including a climbing wall, a trip to Burnaby Lake and multiple games. There was education, too: a Code Mobile team demonstrated computer coding and programming, a nutritionist discussed sugar and salt content in food and how to read food labels, while a nurse gave tips on mindfulness and some breathing techniques.

This year’s kids came from more than 20 BC communities; ranging from Prince George in the north to Vancouver in the Lower Mainland. Most of them had juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but children with lupus, GPA (granulomatosis with polyangiitis) and uveitis also attended. A huge thank you as ever to the wonderful pediatric rheumatology team from BC Children’s Hospital, as well as our generous sponsors and volunteers. Kudos, too, to Ashley Neale and Delores Kryzanowski in the BC and Yukon office for spearheading the camp and making sure all the kids left with big smiles on their faces.

Driving for Deirdre

Vancouver Island brothers John and Chris Beresford are serious automotive enthusiasts. They were also the only all-Canadian team in the 2019 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. John and Chris took part in this incredible adventure and raised over $50,000 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.Thank you John and Chris for your tremendous support.



Camp All In this Together

For the third year in a row, children with arthritis from every corner of the province have enjoyed summer camp at Camp Kindle west of Water Valley, AB, organized and hosted by the Arthritis Society the week of July 8-15. This year 57 kids attended Camp All In This Together, including 18 newcomers. They joined us from Lac La Biche and Fort McMurray in the north, Claresholm south of Calgary, Fernie, BC, Saskatoon and all points in between.

The weather in this part of Alberta can be volatile in July, and although it rained a lot, it did not dampen the good vibes. The kids swam in the outdoor pool, hung out at the ropes course, scaled the climbing wall, hiked through the forest, made crafts, danced, slept in tee pees and of course, sang crazy songs around a roaring campfire at night. They did everything that children who don’t have arthritis might do at summer camp.

The camp facility is owned and operated by Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and is designed with a medical clinic and staff to support the needs of children with a chronic condition. Campers had full 24/7 access to the nurse’s office for daily medications or any time they weren’t feeling well or were experiencing some swelling or joint pain. Since everyone understands what it’s like to live with arthritis, there was no fear of judgment for skipping an activity.

In addition to the amazing volunteers who support our campers every year, we were fortunate this year to have two experts join us to lead sessions: Leah Samson, a pediatric rheumatology nurse from Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital and Cara Kaup, a physiotherapist from Edmonton’s Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

Camp All In This Together is where kids with arthritis learn they’re not alone on their journey with the disease. It’s where they learn more about themselves, develop confidence and become determined to face their challenges.


A Good News Story for Saskatchewan Pediatric Rheumatology

A funding partnership that began five years ago between the Arthritis Society and the Saskatoon Health Authority has a happy ending. Leah Samson, now a familiar face at the pediatric rheumatology clinic at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, was hired when Dr. Alan Rosenberg saw an urgent need for a nurse to help handle the case load of nearly 300 children the clinic treats annually.

“There are very few clinics in North America without a rheumatology nurse. With Dr. Rosenberg’s focus on research and pending retirement from practice, he went to the Arthritis Society with this request to help fund the position, and they immediately stepped in” Leah says.

On the eve of moving into the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Health Authority recognized the value and necessity of Leah’s role in the clinic and has agreed to fund the position going forward.

The Arthritis Society is proud of the role we’ve played in advancing this key role. Advocating on behalf of allied health partners, addressing gaps in care and influencing change by being a critical patient voice on health issues are key to the work of the Arthritis Society. This systemic change is a testament to the dedication and great work of the SHA, the RUH and the pediatric rheumatology teams working in the province.


Camp Limitless

The first medically supervised summer camp hosted by the Arthritis Society in Manitoba, for children with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions was an unequivocal success. Dubbed “Camp Limitless“ by our campers and their families, 23 children joined the five-day adventure from July 17-21 at the beautiful BB Camp facility.

It was a week of firsts for many: first camp experience, first time away from home, first boat ride, first fishing expedition. They all splashed in the lake, paddled kayaks, climbed walls and discovered confidence on the high ropes. For some, it was the first time they could simply “be.” BB Camp was the perfect spot, equipped with a medical clinic and expertly-trained, attentive staff.

Camp Limitless served its purpose: to help children learn more about their arthritis, to make new friends who face the same challenges, to learn new skills, to lessen the feelings of isolation and stress they may experience in their daily lives and most of all, to have fun.



Photo of the event Bouchées, champagne et réseautageOn September 19th, citizens of Trois-Rivières will have the chance to enjoy an evening of champagne tastings and networking in support of the Arthritis Society during the Bouchées, champagne et réseautage event at the Boréalis Museum. The event’s honorary president is Antoine Gélinas, Vice-President of Finance and Administration at Aspasie. Tickets cost $175. For more information, contact David Bouchard at or call 1.800.321.1433, ext. 2505. You can also register at Photo credit: Gilles Joubert

Picture of George Russell Family Day for kids living with arthritis at the Hudson Yacht Club Kids affected by inflammatory arthritis as well as their families are invited to the George Russell Family Day for kids living with arthritis at the Hudson Yacht Club on September 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the menu: BBQ, sailing (depending on the weather), informal networking and games. It is an opportunity to share stories, meet other families affected by childhood arthritis and learn from one another while having fun. Free registration: for information or to reserve your spot, leave us a voicemail at 1.800.321.1433, ext. 2456 or email Karima Zeroual at Photo credit: Robert Kennell ,

Image of speaker in front of an audienceDo not miss the Rencontre sur l’arthrite (this year in French only) at the Quebec City Convention Centre on October 26th! This one-day event dedicated to arthritis features more than 20 seminars and workshops. For accessibility purposes, the Forum will also be broadcast live in eight cities across the province (Cap-aux-Meules, Chicoutimi, Gatineau, Montreal, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, Sept-Îles and Sherbrooke) and webcast for people across the country. Information: Karima Zéroual –, 1.800.321.1433, ext. 2424 or Photo credit: @CosmosImage

Kids having fun at CampThe Kids on the Move Camp was once again quite a success, welcoming 39 young campers living with arthritis! The 15th edition of the camp was held at Camp Massawippi on the lake of the same name in the Estrie region. The children had the chance to practice water sports thanks to specialized equipment as well partake in crafts, singing and playing, all while boosting their confidence and creating never-ending friendships! A special thank you to the volunteer medical team, as well as the donors and sponsors who helped to make this happen: Fiducie charitable Fournier-Éthier, Zeller family foundation, Fondation Québec Philanthrope, The Gustav Levinschi Foundation, Stevens and the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation.

It is Arthritis Awareness Month and a variety of activities are offered through our Hand in Hand support and information program, including seminars on topics such as navigating life with arthritis and OA, and demystifying medical terms related to childhood arthritis and arthritis in general, as well as a workshop on physical therapy and the importance of physical activity. Follow us on Facebook for more information or email us at



Picture of Willow in front of Camp JoinTogether posterCamp JoinTogether

This summer, Willow (pictured below) and her sister Jade held a yard sale that raised $300. They donated this money to Camp JoinTogether. Camp JoinTogether is an annual camp for kids living with childhood arthritis. This year, 97 children and youth from across the Maritimes attended Camp! Willow, thank you for supporting Camp JoinTogether, and for showing that arthritis won’t stop you!


Seniors Living Well With Arthritis – Fall Conferences

This one-day conference will bring together experts in the field of arthritis and chronic health management to provide participants with a wealth of knowledge. Join us for this informative event focused on providing the tools to help you become better self-managers of your arthritis.

Save the date for the location nearest you:

  • Moncton – Saturday, September 28
  • Charlottetown – Saturday, October 19
  • St. John’s – Sunday, November 3
  • Halifax – Saturday, November 16


Jingle Bell Walk and Run in St. John’s, NL

On Sunday, November 17, the Arthritis Society is hosting the Jingle Bell Walk and Run: a morning of holiday-themed fun, festivities, and food at the Bungalow in Bowring Park, 305 Waterford Bridge Road, St. John’s. You can choose from a 1km or 5km walk or run through beautiful Bowring Park. We’ll provide the jingle bells to make some noise to support childhood arthritis!

Visit the event website for more information about the Jingle Bell Walk and Run in St. John’s.

Jingle Bell Walk and Run - St. John’s

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