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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 24th January 2019

Charity of the Month: Juvenile Arthritis Research

Arthritis is generally considered to be an older person’s disease and yet there are 15,000 children in the UK living with the condition. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a crippling and painful autoimmune disorder where the body starts to attack the joints causing inflammation, pain, discomfort and reduced mobility affecting one in every 1,000 children and young people under the age of 16.

JIA can lead to other health conditions and cause permanent disability. In around half of all cases, children go into remission and their disease stops being active. But in the other half, they are confined to taking powerful drugs long-term, with all the side effects and complications that causes. The sad truth is that remission rates haven’t changed much in the last 30 years.

Tonbridge-based Juvenile Arthritis Research (JAR) is searching for a cure for juvenile arthritis, which would enable thousands of children to live free from pain and without the need for ongoing painful treatment. JAR also raise awareness that children and young people get arthritis – because greater awareness leads to faster diagnosis, quicker treatment and better outcomes. Look out for their #ThinkJIA campaign later in the year.

• For more information, visit jarproject.org. Juvenile Arthritis Research is a project of the Jabez Charitable Trust (charity no 1091620).

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