Children - the forgotten face of arthritis

Ireland is in the midst of an arthritis crisis with almost one million adults and more than 1,000 children living with arthritis, making it the most common cause of disability nationally.

That was the key message highlighted by Arthritis Ireland to mark the start of National Arthritis Week, October 12 to 18, as it launched a major new awareness campaign to shift public perceptions about the disease.

This hard-hitting online video named Children get arthritis TOO has been launched to raise awareness that more than 1,000 children in Ireland are living with arthritis.

Irene Collins’ daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with arthritis when she was only two-and-a-half years old. Irene says: “We were shocked when Grace was diagnosed. It is a condition she lives with daily, and people don’t always get what that means and the harsh impact it has on her childhood. Sometimes she’s in so much pain she can’t even walk.”

Arthritis Ireland CEO, John Church, says: “People with arthritis in Ireland are fed up living with the stereotype that arthritis is just a few aches and pains that just affects older people when, in fact, the reality is very different. Ireland is now in the midst of an arthritis crisis. It is the single biggest cause of disability here, affecting nearly one million people from newborn babies right through to the elderly.

“This figure is expected to rise by 30 per cent by the year 2030. Funds are urgently needed to address this crisis; to invest in research to find new treatments and a cure, and to provide services to help people control this devastating disease.”

For anyone who would like to make a donation, text ‘PAIN’ to 50300 and contribute €4. For further information on your local Arthritis Ireland branch or on ‘living well with arthritis’ self-management programmes visit www.arthritisireland.ie or call (1890 ) 252 846.

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