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It’s time to extinguish arthritis 

Arthritis Society marking Arthritis Awareness Month with fiery new campaign 

TORONTO –  In every city and town across this country Canadians of all ages are being robbed of their mobility, time with friends and family, and, in some cases, their livelihood. 

The fire of arthritis burns within six million of us. It is Canada’s most common chronic condition, and there is no cure. Yet for most, the pain burns silently. Arthritis is not taken seriously. 

It’s time to change that. 

September is Arthritis Awareness Month (AAM), and the Arthritis Society is stepping up to fight fire with fire.

“Arthritis is serious. Full stop. For too long people with arthritis have had to convince others of the seriousness of their condition and the validity of their pain,” says Trish Barbato, Arthritis Society President and CEO. “We’re here to sound the alarm and to extinguish the phrase, ‘it’s just arthritis.’ Because, there’s nothing just about arthritis.” 

AAM will see the launch of a bold new campaign from the Arthritis Society that features billboards, digital display, video and social media messages such as: 

  • There are over one hundred kinds of arthritis. None are kind. 
  • Saying to someone “It’s just arthritis” is inflammatory. 
  • Childhood arthritis needs a timeout. 

Arthritis is a collection of more than 100 conditions that affect people of all ages from toddlers to seniors. The idea that arthritis is a disease that manifests with old age is false. In fact, osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis – is more prevalent in those younger than 65 than older. 

A recent study revealed that 30 per cent of people living with osteoarthritis were actually diagnosed before 45. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease of the joints that leads to breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. 

“Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and prevents many from being able to participate in the workforce or attend school,” says Barbato. “That’s serious. 

“We’re bringing our A game with our efforts to increase awareness and understanding of arthritis because we have a disease to fight and need everyone on board.” 

As part of Arthritis Awareness Month, landmarks will be lit in blue across the country including the Parliament Buildings in Victoria, the Calgary Tower, the Toronto sign, natural world wonder Niagara Falls and Halifax City Hall. 

“We’re going to shine brightly from coast to coast,” says Barbato. “We won’t be invisible any longer.” 


About the Arthritis Society 

The Arthritis Society is Canada’s national charity dedicated to fighting the fire of arthritis with the fire of research, advocacy, innovation and information and support. With the support of our donors and volunteers, we are all in to end arthritis, so people with arthritis can live their best life free from arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information, visit   

For more information or to arrange interviews:  

Danielle Milley 
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications 
Arthritis Society  

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