JIA affects approximately 24,000 infants to teens in BC and Canada, or 3 in every 1,000, making it one of the most common causes of chronic disability in children. Ten to 20 percent of children with JIA have Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA), a severe and potentially life-threatening form of the disease. Both JIA and SJIA can be devastating and come with high financial, family and societal burdens.

In partnership with Arthritis Consumer Experts, Cassie and Friends Society is leading a call for the BC Government to drastically improve the outlook of children with SJIA by allowing reimbursement coverage for canakinumab for the small number of children who need it. We need your voice to send our message before the election on May 9th – our kids deserve better.

We estimate there are relatively few children in BC that will require canakinumab, as most children with SJIA respond to other treatments. However, for these vulnerable and ill children, canakinumab is their only hope to avoid the progression of their disabling symptoms.

Cassie and Friends is urging all parties running for public office in British Columbia to make Juvenile Arthritis and canakinumab reimbursement access a health priority during the upcoming provincial election.


What can you do?
Your story and voice are powerful – send a letter to your candidates today by email or by mail and request a meeting.

  • Use our letter template to contact the provincial candidates in your riding and tell them children in BC are suffering because of a lack of access to canakinumab.
  • Already sent your letter? Writing more than once can be an effective way to make sure your concerns are heard.
  • Meet with your candidate. Once you’ve sent your letter, you can follow our simple guide to an effective candidate meeting, created by Arthritis Consumer Experts just for us. If possible, Cassie and Friends will attend your meeting with you.
  • Learn more about the impact of Juvenile Arthritis on children and families in British Columbia – you can share our JIA Backgrounder with your local candidates.


Click here for a list of Vancouver candidates and background information:

Click here for a list of all BC candidates:


Let our collective voices be heard on Twitter!

  • Use the hashtag #VoteJIA when you tweet about the election or in your conversations with your candidate or others
  • If you’re able to attend a candidate event, don’t forget to tweet or post on Facebook when you’re there
  • Retweet Cassie and Friends tweets and share our Facebook messages about the election

Coordinated and targeted action is our best chance to realize a major win for kids and families affected by one of the most devastating forms of Juvenile Arthritis. We look forward to making an impact with you in this BC election cycle!

To follow our latest news and updates on the election, please follow us on Twitter @CAFSociety or visit our Facebook page: