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BC IMPACT E-Newsletter
June 2018

BC IMPACT E-Newsletter-December 2017

In this edition you will find:




Camp creates hope – a mother’s perspective

Camp creates hope – a mother’s perspective

Imagine being eight years old and feeling so scared and sick that you tell your mom that you think you might be dying.

This is what Jaylene said to her mom, when she was in too much pain and fatigue to even lift her head from her pillow one Christmas. Shortly after, Jaylene was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Ideopathic Arthritis – a severe and life threatening form of this cruel disease. There is no cure.

It is a parent’s nightmare – a terrifying experience, and one that Jaylene’s mom, Charlene, lived through as her daughter struggled. By nine years old, every week, Jaylene was taking 85 pills and receiving 8 injections that felt “like fire” under her skin.

Jaylene felt hopeless, and as a parent, Charlene was desperate to lift her daughter’s spirits and reduce her pain. And then…Jaylene was invited to the Arthritis Society’s summer camp – an experience that changed her life.

For the first time, Jaylene met other kids with arthritis. She felt like she belonged. It was a safe and welcoming environment free from judgement, and she could just be herself with other kids who know what it is like to grow up with arthritis.

Jaylene felt supported and understood, and returned from Camp with confidence and new friends. Her mom saw the transformation in her daughter, and Charlene shares, “She was glowing, and her glow gave me the reassurance that this was not the end, but a new beginning for my daughter…Camp helped Jaylene learn that she wasn’t alone, and as a parent, it helped me realize that I wasn’t alone either.”

But what if she hadn’t gone to Camp? What would her story be if she hadn’t been given this life-altering experience?

Camp is a place where kids with arthritis can just be kids. You can help others just like Jaylene.

You can give them something to look forward to, along with lifelong memories and friendships. Help change their story. You can make Camp possible for children across BC.

Please donate at

Thank you for your support.



Walk Weekend in BC!

Walk Weekend in BC!

It was a record year in BC with eight cities welcoming the Walk for Arthritis into their communities and neighbourhoods. This year saw two new locations with Dawson Creek and Campbell River joining the cause and connecting with people to bring this exciting family-friendly event to life in these regions.

In Vancouver, the Walk was emceed by spirited City Television personality Riaz Meghji, who did a thoughtful interview with Walk Ambassador, Wanda Huynh, as she shared her story with the enthusiastic crowd. The cover band The Strays kept everyone moving and the blood pumping with their sets, and the sun shone bright and beautifully.

In Victoria, we were very fortunate to have The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of BC, not only attend the Walk for Arthritis, but address the participants and walk the entire 5km route! CHEK News was there with television personality Ceilidh Millar doing the honours as emcee, and put together excellent coverage of the overall event.

The Walk for Arthritis was also held in Parksville, Trail, Kelowna and Prince George, and in these locations, as well as Dawson Creek and Campbell River, the event was emceed by local radio personalities who happily came on board with their regional stations in support of the Walk for Arthritis and people living with the disease.

With the kids’ zones, chair yoga, sponsor and donor booths, successful silent auctions, 50/50 draws and a grand raffle prize of a trip for two anywhere in BC that Pacific Coastal Airlines flies, there was something for everyone, and the smiles say it all!



Do you have RA?

Do you have RA?

The Inflammatory Arthritis Rehabilitation Clinic at Surrey Memorial Hospital is now open, and may be able to offer you some free therapy and additional supports. To qualify, you must be:

  • Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) within the last year
  • 18 years or older
  • Living in the Fraser Health region

If so, that means occupational and physical therapy is available to you through the new clinic. The program is free upon a rheumatologist referral; however, there may be a fee if you need special equipment or splints.

At the clinic, you will learn about your inflammatory arthritis, get coaching on the best exercise and physical activity suited for you, and learn how to manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis while you continue your daily tasks at home and at work. The clinic can also help with adaptive equipment (for example, large-handled tools to make gripping easier), footwear and orthotics, and splints. Some of these items are made and/or available for purchase at the clinic or you can purchase them in the community.

The clinic is open Monday to Friday, with some evening and Saturday appointments available. If Surrey is too far, there is a clinic one day per month at Abbotsford Hospital. This satellite clinic was started with funding provided by The Arthritis Society.

To get an appointment at the Surrey Inflammatory Arthritis clinic, please ask your rheumatologist. All BC rheumatologists have the Fraser Health arthritis referral form.



Arthritis Connects Symposium – Nanaimo

Arthritis Connects Symposium – Nanaimo

To further an important theme of the Arthritis Society, our recent Arthritis Connects Symposium in Nanaimo focused on lifestyle management and how exercise and diet can improve arthritis symptoms and health outcomes.

Over 160 people joined the symposium, both in person and online, including those who participated from our two satellite sites hosted by CBI Health in Surrey and North Vancouver.

Our speakers included Dr. Alison Kydd, rheumatologist, Tanja Yardley, physiotherapist and Katie LeBlanc, a holistic nutritionist. All of the presentations offered ways for people with arthritis to better manage their symptoms, and how proper exercise and diet can potentially minimize the impact of arthritis and support joint health.

After the individual speakers finished, there was a Q&A session with all the panelists, where audience members, both in person and online, could interact and ask their questions.

Feedback was positive, and one person who watched online shared, “I want to thank you very much for inviting me to attend the Arthritis Connects Symposium. It was very informative. I have had RA now for 10 years and this added quite a bit to my education. I really appreciate all the work that you do.”

Our next Arthritis Connects Symposium will be in Kamloops this October, and will again be made available to people both in-person and online. The theme for this event will be research, innovation and quality of life solutions. To find out more about this and other upcoming symposia as part of our Arthritis Connects series, please contact Alan at