At age 14, Andy has spent most of his life dealing with the pain and discomfort of juvenile psoriatic arthritis. As if the disease itself is not enough, the side effects from the numerous pills and injections often take their toll. In November 2011, Andy ended up in the emergency room while having a severe allergic reaction from his medication. Recently, he had to discontinue another medication which was affecting his kidneys.
But Andy is not alone in his fight against this disease. There are 300,000 children in the U.S. with a form of juvenile arthritis and roughly 200,000 children are diagnosed with psoriasis every year. That's right — kids. Yes, you can get psoriasis and arthritis at any age. And no, there is no cure.
That's why we support the Arthritis Foundation (AF) and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) in their efforts to fund research, continue education programs, and promote advocacy. These organizations provide us — and other families like ours — so much support. With their help, we have been able to connect with other families and individuals through AF's Juvenile Arthritis Conference and NPF's Volunteer Leadership Conference and Capitol Hill Day.
In addition, for the past 7 years, Andy has attended AF's Camp Dakota, a weeklong camp for kids with arthritis and related diseases. It is a place for friendship, a place where Andy "fits in," a place where Andy can just be a kid.
Please join Andy, NPF's Youth Ambassador, and the rest of Roo's Crew in our fight to find a cure. It's easy and we have a lot of fun!
• Join Roo's Crew at the Detroit Zoo Arthritis Walk on May 11, 2013, and help us raise money for research and Camp Dakota.
Thank you for your kindness and support.