All posts byArthritis Foundation

Arthritis Champions Scholarship: Applications Now Open

Every academic year, we award $5,000 in individual scholarships to the most deserving college students. These students show how they impact the arthritis community and live their best life, while empowering others to do the same.

Scholarship applications for the 2022-23 academic year are being accepted through March 31, 2022. So, apply now.Read more hereabout the Arthritis Champions Scholarship program, where you can get general information and learn about eligibility criteria and how the application process works.

The Arthritis Champions Scholarship program is funded by the Walter J. and Kathryn M. Winterhoff Endowed Scholarship Fund, Dr. Smriti Bardhan College Scholarship Fund and Alpha Omicron Pi. Since 2010, this program has supported 85 college students with a total of $745,000 in awards. Each eligible application is anonymously reviewed by leadership volunteers from across the country.

Among 2021 scholarship recipients, Joshua James is a great example of someone who earned this honor. He has had an impact on the JA community and plans to pursue a profession helping others.Read his story.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must:

  • Have doctor-diagnosed arthritis or a related rheumatic disease
  • Have and maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a legal and permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Be enrolled in or awaiting acceptance from an accredited undergraduate or graduate program, or medical school, for the duration of the 2022-23 academic year for full-time enrollment
  • Have engaged with the arthritis community as an Arthritis Foundation advocate, fundraiser, participant or volunteer

The application deadline will be here before you know it, so check out theguidelines and application formtoday. If you have questions, please

The 2021 Virtual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Was a Wonderful Success

A bigTHANK YOU致所有JA家庭、计划委员会成员和赞助商,让2021年虚拟全国青少年关节炎大会取得巨大成功!今年,我们迎来了来自42个州和3个不同国家的850多名与会者,其中包括373名首次与会者。


“My daughter was recently diagnosed and had never met any kids with JA. She enjoyed meeting and playing virtually with kids that experience the same things she does. The JA Conference gave her a sense of community and showed her that she wasn’t alone.”

—JA Mom and Conference Attendee

The expanded conference program offered more than 30 live sessions on a variety of topics including our COVID-19 session series and a conference favorite session: a live chat with Natalie Decker, NASCAR driver and arthritis warrior, who joined families to share her inspirational story and answer questions from conference attendees. The JA Conference also introduced an SJIA track to the conference program and provided a variety of sessions for kids and teens including another conference favorite: the Panda Bear Clinic.

Miss any of the JA Conference content? Browse the JA Conferencesession videos.

This year, Katy & Bridget Carter of Winnetka, California, received the 2021 Steve and Liz Smith Legacy Award for their many years of volunteer service to the JA Conference and the JA community. Katy and Bridget were honored for developing, implementing and building the sibling program at the JA Conference. Check out thesurprise presentation闭幕式上令人感动的反应。农协大会还颁发了2021年农协优秀奖,表彰优秀的志愿者领导。该奖项颁发给医生、青年领袖、青年人、父母和卫生保健专业人员,他们表现出卓越的领导能力和对JA社区的承诺。今年的获奖者包括:Lily Laurent, Dawn Hafeli青年领袖奖;哈利·马普,青年领袖奖;安妮·杰克逊,注册护士,帕蒂·瑞蒂格医疗保健专业领导奖;阿什利·库珀博士,厄尔布鲁尔医师领导奖;Bob和Jen Tonning荣获家长领袖奖。祝贺你获奖!


—JA Young Adult and Conference Attendee

A huge thank you toALLJA会议的与会者,以及会议主席Jenn和Shane Cox;特别嘉宾,娜塔莉·德克尔;另外,计划委员会;志愿者;主题专家;医生;和嘉宾。特别感谢国家颁奖赞助商艾伯维;Alpha Omicron Pi支持赞助商;另外一个支持者是基因泰克公司。

Save the dates for the2022 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference, where we are excited to return to an in-person event. Next year’s event will feature a “Family Reunion” theme and will be held July 14 to 17, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. We hope to see you there!

Arthritis Foundation Champion Scholarships for Deserving Students

At the Arthritis Foundation, we are proud to support the rising generation as it joins the movement to help conquer arthritis for good. Every year, we award $5,000 college scholarships to deserving students who have arthritis or a related rheumatic disease. Recently, 14 additional scholarships were funded for 2021-22 by the Ruth Lape Scholarship of the Lichliter Charitable Trust, meaning that even more applicants will now receive awards.

The 2021-22 Arthritis Champions Scholarship program is funded by the Walter J. and Kathryn M. Winterhoff Endowed Scholarship Fund, Dr. Smriti Bardhan College Scholarship Fund, Alpha Omicron Pi and the Ruth Lape Scholarship of the Lichliter Charitable Trust. Between 2010 and 2021, this program has supported 85 college students with a total of $745,000 in awards, including the 14 recent additions.



新获奖者之一约书亚·詹姆斯(Joshua James)是一个很好的例子,他在教育和个人方面都取得了成就,尽管他患有少年关节炎(JA)。他已经超越了对JA社区的支持,并计划从事帮助他人的职业。

Joshua, born in Fontana, California, and raised in Long Beach, was diagnosed with arthritis at age 4. It went into remission eight years later, but in his junior year of high school, Joshua’s arthritis returned with a vengeance. “It took over my entire life,” he says. “It disrupted my sleep, my education and my family’s financial situation. I missed weeks of school for surgeries and treatment. I gained a lot of empathy for all people with diseases and disabilities and the impact they have.”

Joshua参与JA Camp Esperanza让他很好地理解了如何帮助其他人应对类似的挑战。他一直致力于全国JA大会,以及步行治疗关节炎和Jingle Bell Run筹款活动。在加州州立大学富勒顿分校(California State University, Fullerton)上大学时,他在攻读公关传播学学士学位的同时,学习了更多关于领导力的知识。毕业后,他在北卡罗来纳州立大学(North Carolina State University)、美国农业部(U.S. Department of Agriculture)等地实习,进一步提高了他的沟通和领导能力。

This fall, Joshua, now 26 — with support from his new Arthritis Foundation scholarship award — will begin pursuing his Master of Science in higher education counseling at California State University, Long Beach. He will also serve as assistant resident life coordinator for student housing there.

Along the way, Joshua has developed an interest in boating after working part-time for water sports businesses in Long Beach. “I hope to one day get a captain’s license and continue boating as a lifelong hobby,” he says.

在JA的陪伴下长大,约书亚学到了一些可以帮助他人的经验。“继续前进。学会利用所有可以利用的资源,并找到激励自己的方法。没有人是一座孤岛。记住:向他人寻求支持,并允许他人支持你。”—TONY WILLIAMS

Applications for the 2022 scholarships will be accepted beginning in January 2022. For any questions regarding the Arthritis Champions Scholarship program, contact Andrea Ring

This SJIA Family Thrives in a New Setting

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of arthritis in children and teens. Between 10% to 20% of children with JIA have a rare and serious subtype called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA). Symptoms of this rare disease can include overactivation of a type of immune cells called macrophages (MAS), unremitting fever, liver and spleen enlargement, abnormal bleeding, central nervous system dysfunction and other potential complications. Read about one family’s plight.Continue readingThis SJIA Family Thrives in a New Setting

Young Adult Spotlight: Shane Cox – A Voice for the Invisible

A junior at Chico State University in California, Shane Cox might appear like just your average 20-year-old student. But when you take a closer look, you’ll notice something different about him. It’s not the handicapped plate on his pickup truck or the Humira injections he gives himself that really sets Shane apart from his peers. Instead, it’s his dedication to giving other kids with JA hope for their future that really makes him special. It’s his pay-it-forward attitude that made it easy to convince him to be the 2021 National JA Conference chair. And to make it even better, he’s splitting the role with his mom, Jenn.

“I remember being a kid and just feeling invisible,” says Shane. “When my mom found the Arthritis Foundation, and I started seeing that there were other kids like me — who struggled to walk or didn’t know how to even tell people about their disease — I started to come out of my shell. I found a place I belonged, and it helped give me confidence and hope.”

For Shane’s mom, Jenn, she learned firsthand just how difficult it can be to raise a son with a chronic disease. From the years of wrong diagnoses and countless missed school days to the hurtful comments and feelings of exclusion, Jenn has navigated the often rocky road of parenting a child with JA.


Together, Shane and Jenn are helping other families overcome that initial feeling of worry and fear that comes with a JA diagnosis. In their roles as JA Conference co-chairs, they are each sources of strength for others. Jenn is able to understand how parents are feeling and help reassure them that they are not alone. And for the kids, Shane gets to be the young adult they look up to — feeling hopeful that they, too, will have success, happiness and control over their arthritis.

“I hope that when families see us, they realize that the pain and worry that comes with JA doesn’t have to be the defining thing about them,” says Jenn. “Instead, their diagnosis means they get to be part of a new community, a new family and a new mission.”

From Parent-Led to Patient-Led
As a mom, Jenn naturally took the lead when it came to Shane’s care. She diligently managed a myriad of pills and medical appointments. She wrote school excuses and made arrangements for makeup tests or missed class work. But as Shane grew into a young adult, managing his disease and all the trials that come with it became less of a tag-team event and more of a solo mission.

“My rheumatologist was actually the one who suggested I begin leading my care instead of my mom,” says Shane. “I was 16 or 17 and I think my doctor knew it would take time to totally transition, so we began the process early.”

Like any mom, Jenn was initially scared at the thought of not being involved in Shane’s health care. But by transitioning slowly, she was able to pull back more easily, one step at a time. And both she and Shane slowly redefined their roles.

“I kept attending appointments until Shane was 18, but he led the discussions with the doctor,” says Jenn. “By the time he was an official adult, he started making his own appointments and going to them alone. It wasn’t easy to let go at first, but I knew I had to. It’s still hard at times, but he’s doing a great job.”



Moving Forward Together

Jenn一直是Shane最大的支持者,帮助他学会控制自己的疾病,倡导他的健康和幸福。As Shane gets ready to celebrate his 21stbirthday this summer, his JA diagnosis that brought so many mixed emotions seems like a lifetime ago — but the memories he and his mom have made during his journey will last a lifetime.

“Sure, there are sad moments in our journey,” says Jenn. “But there are so many wonderful ones that we would never have without the Arthritis Foundation. We’ve travelled across the country and met families who have become lifelong friends. And we got to do it together, as a family.”

For Shane, he’s focused on the future. He’ll graduate from college in 2023 as an environmental scientist. And while he knows that he’ll soon transition away from the JA world, he hopes to spend the next couple of years inspiring kids who are just beginning their journey.

“The camps and conferences made me feel like I was just like everyone else,” says Shane. “It’s through these events that I learned to love who I am and to not be embarrassed by my disease. Knowing there are other kids out there who understand what you are going through is life changing. I’m proud to stand up and be that for someone else, because I know how much of an impact it had on me.”— HEIDI BRAGG


The Arthritis Foundation is proud to announce that the 2021-2022 Arthritis Champions Scholarship application is open! The Arthritis Champions Scholarship is generously funded by Dr. & Mrs. Walter J. Winterhoff, Dr. Smriti Bardhan and Alpha Omicron Pi.

The Arthritis Champions Scholarship of $5,000 per academic year is awarded annually to deserving students with arthritis or a related rheumatic disease who:

  • Impact the arthritis community, serving as positive role models and leaders
  • Live their best life while empowering others to do the same


Eligible Scholarship Applicants:

  • 有医生诊断的关节炎或相关的风湿病。
  • 拥有并保持2.5或更高的GPA(未加权)。
  • Are United States citizens or legal and permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Are accepted into an accredited undergraduate program, graduate program or medical school in the U.S.
  • Are enrolled full-time each semester.
  • 从事关节炎基金会的倡导者,筹款人,参与者,志愿者和/或支持者。

Not all eligible applicants will be selected as scholarship recipients. Eligible scholarship recipients may apply for up to four years total. Funds may be used toward tuition, books and supplies only.


Find additional general scholarship details and an online application

If you have questions, please contact

Arthritis Champions Scholarship

11月是国家奖学金月,关节炎基金会很自豪地向全国各地的优秀学生提供关节炎冠军奖学金,他们是“Yes can-do”精神冠军的典范。关节炎冠军奖学金项目由Walter J.和Kathryn M. Winterhoff捐赠奖学金基金,Dr. Smriti Bardhan学院奖学金基金和Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII)慷慨资助。

Walter J. and Kathryn M. Winterhoff Endowed Scholarship Fund
Walter J. and Kathryn M. Winterhoff Endowed Scholarship Fund was created to provide an educational scholarship program for students with rheumatic diseases. Walter and Kay Winterhoff were Tucson residents and had passion for the work of the Arthritis Foundation. This passion evolved from Kay’s own experiences living with arthritis and her refusing to let it get in the way of her love for tennis and golf. This scholarship started in fall 2010 at three public universities in Arizona: Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

2020 Bardhan recipient, Meaghan Victory

Dr. Smriti Bardhan College Scholarship Fund
New for 2020–2021, the Dr. Smriti Bardhan College Scholarship Fund was created to helpthe next generation with arthritis achieve their goals.  Dr. Bardhan lived with boundless energy and a zest for life.  She did not let her rheumatoid arthritis curb her independence, drive and positive energy. Those that knew her best were inspired by her perseverance through the debilitating state of her arthritis.  She was dedicated to her community and as a scientist she was committed to cracking the genetic code to revolutionize treatments for future generations. Dr. Bardhan, like millions of others living with arthritis, strived each day to live her best life.

Champion College Scholarship Program
Alpha Omicron Pi将支持冠军学院奖学金计划,帮助关节炎基金会将奖学金数量增加到20个。Alpha Omicron Pi的国际慈善事业是关节炎,50多年来,他们一直是关节炎基金会的骄傲的合作伙伴。 除冠军学院奖学金外, AOII美元支持  全国 青少年关节炎会议, JA营地,JA能量包,校园连接和关节炎研究。Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII)于1897年在纽约市哥伦比亚大学巴纳德学院成立。AOII拥有超过19万名创始成员和141个现有的学院分会,158个活跃的校友分会遍布美国和加拿大。Alpha Omicron Pi是一个国际女性兄弟会,促进终生友谊,激励学术卓越和终身学习,并通过服务兄弟会和社区发展领导技能。

  • Since 2010, the Arthritis Foundation has supported 51 college students, granting $568,750 in total scholarship awards. Nearly 1,000 applications have been received since expanding to a nationwide program in 2017.

Congratulations to the 2020 – 2021 scholarship recipients:

Kayla A. University of Miami
Jacob A. Penn State University College of Medicine
Ethan B. Ohio Wesleyan University
Andrew C. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Lauren D. Wake Forest University
Anna M. Medical University of South Carolina
Brianna M. University of California at Los Angeles
Emily M. Arizona State University
Olivia P. Grand Canyon University
Valerie R. University of Mississippi
McKenzie R. Saint Michael’s College
Emily T. Springfield College
Meghan V. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Ashlyn W. Ohio Dominican University

The 2021-2022 Arthritis Champions Scholarship program will open inJanuary 2021. Additional details and application will be posted

If you have questions, please

2020 Virtual JA Camp Banner

We are Camp Stronger than JA, virtually!

This summer may look different, but we will still have opportunities to connect at JA Camp. Our new virtual JA Camp experience brings the magic of summer camp to all campers with JA, wherever you happen to be! While we cannot replace being in person together, we are excited to give campers an alternative option for connection and fun.

The Arthritis Foundation is proud to offer free, at-home summer camp experiences across the United States for kids and teens withjuvenile arthritisand related childhood rheumatic diseases. Juvenile arthritis (JA) camps are sponsored nationally by Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity and Foundation (AOII), as well as supporting partners Bristol Myers Squibb, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and the Saal Family Fund in memory of Jessica Saul. Thanks to sponsorship and donations, virtual camp is provided at no cost to families.

Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity’s Executive Director Kaya Miller shares, “For many of our members, our support of the Arthritis Foundation Camp program is one of the most compelling aspects of our work together. Chapters and members are especially passionate about fundraising the dollars that help children and youth attend a JA summer camp. AOII understands this passion and is proud to champion this important JA initiative.”

Our Virtual JA Camps will offer a few of the programs and traditions campers are used to at in person camp – mindfulness, movement, arts and crafts, camp songs and more! Campers will interact through live video sessions, giving them the chance to see faces of familiar friends and counselors. All Virtual JA Campers will also be mailed an activity workbook. Through our camp programs, even virtually, campers gain a greater understanding of their own diagnosis and treatment, build strong peer-support networks and develop the skills they need to become effective leaders, advocates and champions in their everyday lives. A camper from our Teen Retreat in California shared, “I felt like Virtual JA Camp really helped me discover options for moving forward with college and independent doctors’ appointments with JA.”

Volunteer co-camp director Claire Peckenpaugh from Camp KODA in Utah shared, “Camp KODA has been a vital resource for our kids living with rheumatic conditions in the Intermountain West region. By moving camp to an online, virtual platform, we’ve been able to safely connect with those from all over our market, Utah, Idaho and Montana, as well Nevada and Wyoming. While online camp isn’t the same as the annual in-person camp, we are thrilled to have kids and young adults connect with one another to discuss challenging topics such as: advocacy, living with chronic conditions and mental health. Thanks to the help of our volunteers and medical staff from Primary Children’s Hospital, we’ve had the opportunity to host 59 kids at our virtual camp this year! The fundraising efforts of both the National and Local Arthritis Foundation chapters have given us this opportunity to provide a safe environment for our kids living with chronic illness to come together and realize there are other kids out there just like them. As we’ve told the kids time and time again, we are stronger together as a community.”

Visit ourcamp website注册参加关节炎基金会虚拟JA训练营。我们希望与您在线联系!

Teen Fighting JA Says Knowledge Is Power

When Britney Gifford started complaining about aches and inflammation in her arms, legs and knees at the age of 5, her pediatrician assured her parents it was just growing pains — after all, she was one of the tallest kids in her class. As she grew older and showed zero interest in athletics, her parents assumed it was because she just had different hobbies and interests.Continue readingTeen Fighting JA Says Knowledge Is Power

A Mother’s Fight to Free Her Son From Pain

By Kristine DiDesidero, Mount Sinai, New York

I remember the pain as a child. I complained to my mom about pain in my legs. Some nights I cried myself to sleep. My mom took me everywhere for answers. The doctors told her I had growing pains. I am 4 feet, 11 inches, and stopped growing in fifth grade. The reality is that I’ve spent most of my life with what I now know as a variety of autoimmune diseases.Continue readingA Mother’s Fight to Free Her Son From Pain