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This is Zofia and she is 10. You probably can't tell by her big smile, but she deals with daily pain, affecting every part of her life. Zofia was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), which affects approximately 1 in 1000 Canadian children. Although it's not often talked about, JIA is more common than Cystic Fibrosis or childhood Diabetes!
With summer coming up, many kids are gearing up for summer camp, for an opportunity to make friends, have fun outdoors and develop wonderful memories. Unfortunately, kids with JIA, like Zofia, are often unable to attend more traditional camps, which do not have the facilities, specialized health care staff or the modified activities to accommodate their abilities.
Camping together with other kids who have JIA will help Zofia feel understood and accepted, which, as you can imagine, is a huge challenge for such young kids dealing with these chronic conditions. It will allow Zofia to stop being defined by her disease, but by who she is! In the midst of assessments, appointments, various tests, treatments, medications, etc., it's pretty easy to forget who you are and just see JIA. In addition to barrier-free, traditional camp activities, Arthritis Society camps provide important tools and resources related to positive self-esteem and effective disease management, facilitated by experienced counselors. On-site medical staff ensure that campers’ health needs are met.
The Arthritis Society is committed to sending as many kids to camp as possible. Despite best efforts, this year a financial contribution for camp is required from participating families. We have registered for Move Your Way, in support of raising funds for Camp Ontario for Zofia to attend for the very fist time this year. She is excited to try all sorts of activities with new friends during this Monday-Friday sleep away camp near Algonquin Park. Any funds that exceed her goal will go to help other campers get to camp - and help cover the cost of the monthly Zoom activities for kids year round.
Please help support Zofia's fundraiser to help send her to camp.
We greatly appreciate your help!
Iwona and Dave
(aka Mom and Dad)
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