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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Friday, March 25, 2011

Everyone should have a cause, here's a little bit about mine

So, I had this great post written, and I just accidentally deleted the whole thing. I HATE when that happens!! So here's an attempt to recreate the greatness....

First and foremost, I want to welcome those of you that are new followers and readers of my blog. Please say hello and let me know you're reading!! I know I'm not always the best blogger ever, but I think its really cool that anyone, especially people I don't really know, are even remotely interested in anything I have to say.

However, the real reason for this post is to tell you about a cause that has been extremely important to my family for the last 16 years. In early 1995, at the ripe old age of 3, my little sister Emily was diagnosed was Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.  "Wait," you might be thinking, "arthritis? I thought that was for old people!" Believe me, you're not the only one who thinks so. But according to the Juvenile Arthritis Alliance, nearly 300,000 children in America live with JA.  In 1998, my family (minus me - damn that Plebe Summer) attended their first Arthritis Foundation event, a conference specifically for families dealing with JA.  It changed all of their lives, especially Emily - this was the first time she had ever met other kids like her other than the occasional passing in the doctor's office. Since that time, my whole family has been involved in the Foundation and its events.  For the past 8 or so years, the Arthritis Walk has been a big part of that.

Now, I'm not here just to ask for money. Don't get me wrong - if you want to donate, please click here and your money will absolutely go to an amazing cause. But what would make me just as happy, or even happier, would be if you would click on one of these links to learn more about JA and see if there's a way that you can help:
Find a walk near you
Be an advocate for health legislation and policy
Learn about Arthritis Foundation events
Volunteer at your local AF office
Other ways to donate

Again, it means the world to me that people are reading my little blog. Hopefully I can use it for a good cause!

Oh, and by the way, Emily is doing AWESOME. She was lucky in that she had an amazing doctor from the start and her body responded well to medications. She's had some rough times, but for the most part she's your normal college freshman. She's studying nursing, hoping to help kids like her some day. Pretty cool, I think!  She's an amazing young woman who's likely been an inspiration to more people than she'll ever know, and I think will continue to be. Here are a couple of pictures from last year's Walk - Emily's the one with the cool yellow glasses, and the other one is our equally awesome youngest sister, who's been as much of a support system to Emily over the years as anyone else.

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