Did you know that Juvenile Arthritis is one of the most common childhood diseases in the US, affecting nearly 300,000 children?  It is also one of the lesser known diseases, even though it’s more common that type 1 Diabetes.  It includes a variety of ailments, including joint pain and swelling, reduced growth rate, eye inflammation that can cause blindness, heart problems and internal organs are effected in systemic cases.  Many of the medications used to treat arthritis are full of other side effects, such as liver damage.  Not to mention the fact that there is a shortage of doctors (11 states don’t even have one pediatric rheumatologist), so children have to travel far and wide to receive treatment.  You can see these children are faced with a number of challenges.

When I was diagnosed, I realized how much these children like me needed comfort and joy.  Someone to love, and help them through the many appointments, tests, and pokes.  I created the idea of Arthritis Animals, to be given to children upon their diagnosis of JA. To give, comfort, joy, and love. So what are Arthritis Animals? Arthritis Animals are small hand-crafted stuffed animals that also have “arthritis”, signified by red joints. Each animal is unique and special, just like every child diagnosed with JA. My goal is to have each child diagnosed at the U of M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital be given a special Arthritis Animal to help them throughout their treatments and recovery.

I am trying to help the many children diagnosed at the U of M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital – as many as 20 per week! So we definitely could use your help!!

If you’d like to help by creating an animal- either knitted, crocheted, or sewn, please follow the information here.  We could also use donations of yarn, and stuffing.  Please contact us if you have any further questions.