Juvenile arthritis became a part of our family and our lives in September of 2006. One morning Cassie, then only 20 months old, wouldn’t walk when we took her out of her crib. After a ton of tests, we ultimately received the diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

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Zachary lived with the pain of arthritis for nine months and the symptoms of chronic disease for 19 months before finally being diagnosed with Systemic Onset Juvenile Arthritis at the age of 3 ½. At the time of diagnosis, we had no idea how extensive the impact of arthritis would be on our lives.

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Elise was born with a couple of congenital heart defects that kept her in ICU for four days. Over the last four years, one of the heart conditions healed itself and the remaining hole is still prevalent, but recent tests show that her ECG and EKG "do not match the little thriving girl."

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I was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis in the September of 2005. I have gone into remission twice in the past 7 years, and am currently in remission right now. Arthritis has caused me physical challenges but also mental ones. Having a chronic disease at such a young age caused me to become mature much faster than kids my own age.

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We’re on a mission to make life better for kids and families affected by Juvenile Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is a debilitating, autoimmune disease that affects 3 in 1000 children in Canada. JA attacks the joints, causing pain, fatigue and mobility challenges, but it can also attack vital organs, including the eyes, making it a very serious condition in children.

Since 2007, we’ve raised over $1,000,000 to fund research, pediatric rheumatology programs, equipment, support services and educational events to ensure kids and families with rheumatic diseases are not alone. That’s because, despite being one of the most common, chronic childhood health issues in Canada, JA still remains relatively unknown and highly under-resourced. 

As parents, we’ve felt firsthand the isolation, pain, lack of community awareness and critical gaps in support surrounding our kids diseases. Our priority is to be there for kids and families from the initial fear and disbelief of diagnosis through the endless hospital visits, needles, medications, scans and terrifying unknowns. That’s why we began Cassie & Friends Society – a charity that’s focussed just on kids and their lives with Juvenile Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.


sb_half logoJoin “Team Cassie & Friends” to STEP UP for kids with Juvenile Arthritis and other Rheumatic Diseases on June 26, 2016! We’ve been the top team for 8-yrs running!