Could you spot juvenile arthritis if you saw it? Juvenile arthritis, or JA, refers to a collection of pediatric rheumatic diseases as well as autoimmune and inflammatory conditions affecting 1 in 250 children nationally. JA can impair nearly every part of the musculoskeletal system, including joints, vision, blood vessels, and the hearts—to name only a few. But the signs could be difficult to notice from an outsider’s perspective. Last year, Design Science had the opportunity to take a closer look at the Art for Arthritis Gala in Kansas City.
The Arthritis Foundation hosts the event every year, pairing children with JA and local artists. These teams collaborate to create meaningful artworks, which express kids’ experiences living with JA. Resilience was the common theme. When kids presented their art, they shared stories of running around with friends at summer camp, of singing in a school choir, and of pursuing their artistic passions. Musicians, video game enthusiasts, and dancers all confidently refused to let their symptoms get in the way of doing what they love.
July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month and Design Science is raising awareness to remind you that #KidsGetArthritis, too. If someone you love is living with JA, please check out your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. It’s an incredible organization with plenty of opportunities for the families and kids affected by JA. And if you would like to join one of our studies and help improve the next generation of treatment for JA, then give us a call and sign up today! You’ll have a chance to participate in our user-focused device research and receive an honorarium for your time.