May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Many of you, well actually most of you, do not know that I have Sarcoidosis.  Why would you?  I talk about food here, not joint pain.   I bet you’ve either never heard of Sarcoidosis or you’ve heard it mentioned on House practically every episode before they figure out the real cause of the actor’s demise.  I didn’t know what Sarcoidosis was either, until I developed terrible arthritis about 8 years ago. My ankles swelled to the size of grapefruits.  My fingers were swollen and hot to the touch.  Everything hurt.  It was then that I understood what pain, chronic pain, really is.  I had a brand new baby at the time.  I couldn’t lift him out of the crib.  I could barely climb a few steps without crying.
The blessing in having Sarcoidosis is that it goes into remission.  I have been juvenile Arthritis Jersey Bitesin said remission for 7 years.  My pulimary Doc thinks it has simply gone away and I like his thinking.  For some though, the prognosis is not that sunny.  Some deal with this chronic pain, day in and day out.  It breaks my heart to know what this pain is like and to know that children are dealing with this.  Please see the press release from my good friend Hilary Morris.  Take a minute to learn about this disease and how you can help.

In December over 100 NJ bloggers joined Deb Smith with Jersey Bites to help save the NJ Food Banks.  Now it’s time to unite again for an important cause and an even more inspiring and motivational woman: NJ native Kelly Rouba and her debut book, Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month and with our power to educate and inspire, we can spread the word about Kelly and her book. There are over 300,000 children affected with JA in the US and some of them you would never know are suffering. For some, the pain is private, with symptoms lasting for years before they receive the official diagnosis. And some kids have to drive hours to see their pediatric rheumatologist since there are such limited numbers across the country.

Kelly herself was diagnosed at 2 years old while other kids featured in her book were in their teens.  Kelly really wanted to make her book one that kids would want to read. She wanted to give them an up-to-date resource guide that put familiar faces with the disease. Featured with Kelly are Allyson Shapiro, a reality tv star, Amanda White, a champion figure skater, and Shaun-Marie Robbins, a new mother who is having difficulty doing everyday mommy tasks.

On May 3rd and May 17, the NJ Chapter of the Arthritis Association is holding their annual Arthritis Walk across New Jersey.  Kelly is the PR chair for the Princeton event and will be on hand to meet walkers and supports. To register, visit or call the Arthritis Foundation’s New Jersey Chapter office at (732) 283-4300.