Thought Leadership Blog

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Arthritis is NOT Confined to the Aging!

Nearly 300,000 U.S. kids are diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.  I suspect that with proper screening, that number would escalate exponentially.  Children, however, often don't know they feel differently or suffer more discomfort/limitation than other kids.
In the recent past, we've certified arthritis as the #1 leading disability, having diagnosed 46 million people in the U.S.   Kids are still sadly overlooked and need increased awareness and support.   Government spending does not focus on research toward this disease to the same extent funds are allocated toward diseases that have lesser impact.  10 years ago, when I began a personal and professional volunteer campaign to build awareness for Juvenile Arthritis, I found it sadly overlooked. Due to new information, today that's changing!  New studies and the outpouring of support to these campaigns have pushed it farther onto the radar for the Foundation's very successful initiatives, public awareness and much needed US congressional support.  
Advocating to US congressional reps this past February, I can assert with certainty that we are close to our goals and making progress with every voice and every individual supporter's advocacy.  Following our advocacy, 12 states including our chapter were singled out to receive additional Center for Disease Control (CDC) Funding.  Additionally, we have gained support of congressional majority and have earned recommendation for additional nationwide CDC and NIH funding.  The Arthritis Prevention, Control & Cure Act needs your support to make this happen.  We need a push to "mark up" so that this promise becomes actionable and not just a thought and intention. 
We need to overcome the serious lack of pediatric rheumatologists, increase youth screening and at least allow U.S. research and disease control investments to keep pace with inflation. 
Today's kids are tomorrow's adults!   Those not moved by the impact on lives can certainly be moved by the $128 billion annually these unchecked diseases cost our taxpayers.   
Please advocate today - you can do so right from where you're reading this message at 

Jessica Ollenburg - Saturday, July 26, 2008