You Are Here: Home >

Stop Childhood Arthritis

Stop Childhood Arthritis

Stop Childhood Arthritis in its tracks. No child should have to live with the unnecessary pain of childhood arthritis.

Stop Childhood Arthritis is an unprecedented research funding commitment about unlocking the power of personalized medicine and changing the face of childhood arthritis.

In 2017 , the Arthritis Society committed to investing $5 million to fund ground-breaking research into childhood arthritis including personalized therapies, earlier detection, prevention and quality of life supports - so that no child has to live with unnecessary pain.

Stop Childhood Arthritis will accelerate the vital and talented work of the Canadian pediatric clinical and research community, who are close to taking a quantum leap forward in the ability to test for, target and treat childhood arthritis earlier, with greater accuracy and fewer side effects.

Combining forces with research partners to accelerate this important work

We are very proud to partner with Genome Canada and other institutions to support UCAN CURE – a transformational research project Canada is leading as part of an international network.

This is an investment in children, and in discovery. The future of arthritis care is going to be driven by a focus on innovation. 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 this initiative thanks to the vision and generosity of our donors.

No child should have to live with the unnecessary pain of childhood arthritis.

Help Stop Childhood Arthritis Today!

Stop Childhood Arthritis represents the largest research commitment the Arthritis Society has ever made into childhood arthritis… so that no child has to live with unnecessary pain.” - Janet Yale, President & CEO, Arthritis Society

Meet the UCAN CURE Researchers

Dr. Susa Benseler and Dr. Rae YeungDr.Susa Benseler and Dr.Rae Yeung

Learn about the vital research taking place in the pediatric rheumatology research community across Canada, as they work to unlock the power of personalized medicine. Here are two of the many remarkable explorers contributing to this vital work: 

  • Dr. Rae Yeung (MD, PhD, FRCPC)
    • Professor of Paediatrics, Immunology and Medical Science at the University of Toronto
    • Senior Scientist in Cell Biology Research at The Hospital For Sick Children (SickKids)
    • Hak-Ming and Deborah Chiu Chair in Paediatric Translational Research

    Dr. Yeung is the founder of UCAN (Understanding Childhood Arthritis Network), a translational research network with members from around the world representing over 50 countries.  She is also the Principal Investigator of UCAN CAN-DU – a network that links world-class pediatric rheumatologists and researchers across Canada and the Netherlands in a shared, collaborative research effort to bring personalized medicine to the care of childhood arthritis.

     UCAN CAN-DU’s goal is to develop tests that allow doctors to tailor treatments to profile of the individual child. (Simply put, ‘personalized medicine’ means delivering the right treatment, at the right time, to the right person.)

     The UCAN CAN-DU team has already made progress in developing genomic tests for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. These tests can help determine whether a child has the disease, whether they will respond to medication, and even when to stop medications. The next step is to extend this kind of discovery to other types of childhood arthritis, leading to new, more widespread breakthroughs, and improved outcomes for more children living with arthritis.

    Dr. Yeung’s involvement with The Arthritis Society:

    • Lead investigator in nine Society-funded research projects since 1995, receiving operating and salary awards totaling over $1.3 million.

    The Arthritis Society’s commitment… is making it possible to truly unlock the power of personalized medicine, improving outcomes by delivering the right treatment at the right time to the right child. - Dr. Rae Yeung, Founder of the Understanding Childhood Arthritis Network (UCAN), Senior Scientist, Cell Biology Research at the Hospital for Sick Children

  • Dr. Susa Benseler (MD, PhD)
    • Section Chief, Rheumatology, Department of Paediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital

    Dr. Benseler is a clinician and research scientist in the UCAN CAN-DU network. Based in Calgary at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, her research focus is to advance our understanding of childhood CNS vasculitis, inflammatory brain diseases and systemic vasculitis – diseases that share many characteristics with childhood arthritis.

    Dr. Benseler’s work led the development and implementation of BrainWorks, an innovative prospective network of children diagnosed with childhood CNS vasculitis and inflammatory brain diseases. BrainWorks aims to improve recognition, diagnostic evaluation, treatment and long-term outcome of children with childhood CNS vasculitis and inflammatory brain diseases around the world. Imagine the insights a similar network of childhood arthritis patients could uncover!

    Dr. Benseler’s involvement with The Arthritis Society:

    • Serves on our Scientific Advisory Committee
    • Received the Geoffrey Carr Lupus Fellowship in 2003 – a grant worth $55,000

    We have a wonderful opportunity to stop childhood arthritis… to develop new treatments that disrupt the disease, completely changing the lives of affected children. – Dr. Susa Benseler, Chair of CAPRI

Other childhood arthritis research investments

So far we’ve allocated $2.7 million in commitments towards our five-year goal, including investing over $1 million in childhood arthritis research in 2018-19. current  These funds are currently supporting 15 childhood arthritis research initiatives, including operating grants, career development awards, training awards, and Arthritis Centres.
In addition to the UCAN CURE research profiled above, some other commitments include:
  • Dr. Jaime Guzman, University of British Columbia – The Ondansetron premedication trial in juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Dr. Linda Hiraki, The Hospital for Sick Children – Genetics of manifestations and complications of systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Dr. Alan Rosenberg, University of Saskatchewan – The biologic basis of co-existent uveitis and arthritis in children: towards early detection, targeted treatment
  • Yvonne Brandelli, Dalhousie University – Parental perceptions of pain and treatment adherence in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Proud supporters

Cassie + friends

About Childhood Arthritis

Aida was just five years old when she was diagnosed with a form of childhood arthritis – a group of rare conditions affecting three in every 1,000 Canadian children.

These aggressive diseases can strike infants, children and teens, and can seriously erode their quality of life: some of these children have literally never known a day without pain.

AidaResearch into personalized medicine will help Aida's doctors identify the exact right treatment to stop her arthritis in its tracks, relieving the pain, restoring mobility and preventing further damage to her joints – so she can get back to just being a kid.

Help Aida – and the thousands of Canadian children like her.

Help Stop Childhood Arthritis Today!

Here is Aida, post op after receiving 15 injections of steroids into her tiny joints, to help relieve the pain of inflammation, and to get her mobile again - Katrina & Ed, Aida's parents