JAM 2010, Mall of America

This Saturday is the annual Juvenile Arthritis March (JAM) which is held at the Mall of America in Bloomington.  It’s a pretty big event with families walking together in order to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation.  I took photos at JAM last year for the first time which was also the beginning of my volunteer work photographing other Arthritis Foundation events.  I’m really looking forward to helping out again (despite needing to arrive there at 6:30 AM).  It’s inspiring to see so many people coming together to work hard for such a personal cause.  All of the kids (and adults) wearing blue T-shirts last year were people who had some form of arthritis.  I was 18 years old when I was diagnosed with RA, which is very young, but it’s nothing compared to the courageous little kids who are forced to deal with this debilitating disease at such young ages.  Suddenly having the intense physical and emotional pain of RA thrust upon me at age 18 was incredibly devastating, yet I’m very grateful I was able to have a normal pain-free childhood. Many of the kids who participate in JAM each year will most likely never be able to experience that.  Finding a cure for arthritis is important for everyone who suffers from the disease – but especially for the little ones.  No child should have to suffer from constant pain.

5 thoughts on “JAM

  1. This is so sad. I can’t imagine being a child and experiencing the type of pain we do. At least I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 33. I remember coming home from a Duran Duran concert with my hands aflame. It all went downhill from there. :(

    Poor children. You’ve inspired me to try and do something. I’m ashamed to say I’ve spent the last several years being self absorbed with my own pain and symptoms. Only recently I’ve started visiting boards and blogs dedicated to RA and I realize now, that as bad as I feel I have it, there are others who are in much worse condition, and while I can, I need to help.

    Thank you for your inspiring stories! In the last few weeks, I’ve put up a health related bulletin board at work, and I’m looking forward to May when I can help raise awareness for arthritis and RA. For the first time, I’m doing the arthritis walk, and this is just the beginning.

    Anyhow, I’d love to see your pics from the last JAM event! If you would be willing to share? Have a great weekend, Angela!

    1. Thanks for the comment Liz! Yes it’s so sad to think about what these little kids have to deal with. I can barely handle it some days myself as an adult. But you do what you have to do to keep on living, I suppose. That’s great that you feel inspired to get involved. I didn’t really do anything for most of my years having RA, except just trying to take care of myself and learn how to cope with the disease (it’s a full-time job!). I have to say that getting involved with the Arthritis Foundation has made a wonderful difference in my life. Not only am I helping to work for a cause I believe in so strongly, but I’ve been able to meet so many other great people through volunteering. I can’t recommend it enough. I will post some of Saturday’s JAM photos soon! Beware cute-kid overload! :)

      1. I must look into getting involved with the Arthritis Foundation too!! Baby steps…I’ve spent a lot of years dealing with the disease and learning to live with it too. I’m ready to go out there and make people aware. Help people, do SOMETHING! You know?

        You’ve inspired me to start a blog. I’ve been very heavily researching ways to try and tame the pain. I’m doing all sorts of new things. They may or may not work. So, I figured I’d blog them. If something I do does work, and can help someone else out, then it’ll all be worth it. In no way am I trying to emulate you. I just felt the need to write myself. If you’re interested in seeing my one lonely little post (so far!) let me know. I’ll definitely share with you.

        And I can’t wait to see some cute kids!! Bring them on!

        Have a great week, Angela!

  2. hey that’s great you’re starting a blog! Yes, I’d love to see/read it. Please share! Every little bit helps, I think. Have a great week yourself! :)

  3. Okay…I’m a little shy, but here goes.


    I haven’t really had a chance to establish the mood of the blog, but I’m going to go with humour, methinks. Most people who know me know I’m just a big goofball…so I think that it would maybe keep people entertained while they learn a thing or two. We shall see…I don’t want to make light of what is obviously a very serious situation.

    Anyhow, I’m off to celebrate my wedding anniversary. Definitely going off my anti-inflammation diet for this meal. ;) Talk to you soon!


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