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Arthritis Society joins genome Canada to support childhood arthritis research

$1 million commitment furthers Arthritis Society’s investment to stop childhood arthritis

TORONTO, January 23, 2018 – The Arthritis Society is proud to be a contributing partner in Genome Canada’s announcement of $10 million in new funding to accelerate research into personalized medicine for childhood arthritis.

Genome Canada is providing $5 million of the total commitment. The Arthritis Society – the only charity contributing to this initiative – will provide $1 million, while the remainder will come from Ontario Genomics, Genome Alberta, SickKids and Alberta Children’s Hospital. The funding is part of a blockbuster $255 million commitment announced by the federal government to support genomic research.

“The incredible work (of Canada’s leading genomics and precision health researchers) brings hope to Canadians living with chronic illnesses, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and arthritis, while strengthening Canada’s health-care system,” said the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

The Arthritis Society’s involvement represents the next important phase of Stop Childhood Arthritis, the five-year, $5-million investment we announced last year that is funding research into personalized medicine aimed at stopping childhood arthritis in its tracks.

The goal of this work is to allow doctors to tailor treatment to the profile of the individual child. Simply put, personalized medicine means delivering the right treatment, at the right time, to the right person. In the words of Aida Kelf-Kowal, the 8-year-old Arthritis Society ambassador who spoke at the announcement, “It will allow kids to be kids - as they should be.”

This is an investment in children, and in discovery. The future of arthritis care is going to be driven by a focus on innovation, and in that context this initiative is a game-changer, with potential implications for arthritis care that extend far beyond children. The Arthritis Society is excited to be helping lead the way in partnership with Genome Canada and the other participating funders, and with the generous support of our donors.

Childhood arthritis is a group of rare conditions affecting three in every 1,000 Canadian children. These aggressive diseases can strike infants, children and teens, and can devastate lives: some of these children have literally never known a day without pain. We are close to delivering answers, and we owe it to these most vulnerable members of our community to see that work through to completion, so that no child has to live with unnecessary pain.

The Arthritis Society is already Canada’s largest charitable source of arthritis research funding.  Stop Childhood Arthritis is a natural extension of our strategic priority to address childhood arthritis, and represents The Arthritis Society’s largest ever commitment to childhood arthritis research.

For more information, or to make a donation to support our childhood arthritis initiatives, please visit


The Arthritis Society is a national health charity, fueled by donors and volunteers, with a vision to live in a world where people are free from the devastating effects that arthritis has on lives. Begun in 1948 with one very clear goal – to alleviate the suffering of people crippled by arthritis – that same volunteer-led passion carries on today in communities across Canada. Through the trust and support of our donors and sponsors, the Arthritis Society is Canada’s largest charitable source of investments in cutting-edge arthritis research, proactive advocacy and innovative solutions that will deliver better health outcomes for people affected by arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program.  For more information and to make a donation, visit

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For further information, please contact:

Alicia D’Aguiar
Communications specialist
Arthritis Society
1-800-321-1433 x3354

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