Through the Camp ARCTIC (Arthritis Can’t Tame My Independence and Courage) Fund, the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation works with the Arthritis Foundation, Southcentral Foundation, and other wonderful members of our community to provide a free summer camp for kids of all ethnicities from across Alaska who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
In order to understand the value of Camp ARCTIC, it is important to understand how serious JIA is. It is a condition that causes the body’s immune system to malfunction and attack healthy cells, such as the membrane between joints. It is extremely painful and makes the normal movements that most of us take for granted very difficult. It can also be a lonely condition. If a child with JIA lives in a small community, chances are he or she is the only person in that community with the condition.
Camp ARCTIC provides a fun place where children with JIA can experience activities with other kids who have the same condition and where parents can share strategies for managing their child’s arthritis with other parents and meet with specialized physicians about their child’s condition. Not only is Camp ARCTIC an enjoyable three days, but it provides a rare opportunity for children to form friendships and understand that they are not alone.
There is no cure for JIA, but together we can make living with it just a little bit easier for Alaska’s brave kids.Donate
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