Arthritis Dates and Campaigns 2020

Arthritis Awareness Days for the Diary 2020

With Arthritis (and food) being at the forefront of my mind most days – I thought it would be important at the turn of the new year to have a look at this years’ upcoming awareness campaigns for arthritis across the world and here in the UK especially – with a number of charities leading the way.

In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other, similar conditions that affect the joints. Arthritis affects people of all ages, including children. And in the US, more than 54 million people have arthritis, that’s 23% of adults. The pain is often invisible, and its effects can often go unnoticed.

BUT:

In a Harris Poll of 2,000 adults in the U.S. on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation, only 7% of them knew that arthritis is the country’s #1 cause of disability. A whopping 85% said the disease needs more attention.

Arthritis Foundation

I’ve had arthritis for almost 7 years now, and there was a time when I didn’t contribute to, relate to, or engage with my condition. And now, I am constantly telling people, “Hey, you wouldn’t believe it, but I have arthritis… I know, I’m so young… I know… I don’t look like I have it… I know, it’s invisible… Yes, I am on medication… Yes, it’s painful… Well, there’s over 100 different types of arthritis, and millions of people have it all over the world… not just “old” people, young children too!”

Some of the dates below are based on last year’s awareness days/ weeks/ campaigns, but with some research I have tried to find the right dates for your diary!

2020 Arthritis Awareness Campaigns by Month

February

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness: 2nd of February

Rheumatoid disease, also known as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is an autoimmune condition in which the body believes the linings of the joints are foreign tissue, and it attacks and damages them, resulting in inflammation and pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 2 to 3 times as many women than men develop RA, and 70 percent of people with RA are women. This day is dedicated to RA.

April

National Arthritis Week: 20th to 26th of April

National Arthritis Week (NAW) by Arthritis Ireland, takes place from 20th – 26th of April. The theme of the week is ‘Movement is the best medicine’, to highlight the importance of physical activity for joint health for people with arthritis, alongside also highlighting how it can be a preventative measure.

May

Arthritis Awareness Month: All of May

World AUTOimmune & AUTOinflammatory Arthritis Day: 4th of May

This worldwide day raises awareness about the autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases that include inflammatory-driven arthritis (AiArthritis), hosted by the International Foundation for Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Arthritis.

June

Rheumatoid Awareness Week: 17th to 23rd of June 2020

Led by the NRAS (National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society), last year (2019) they ran a campaign #AnyoneAnyAge, and this year I am looking forward to seeing their campaign 17th to 23rd of June.

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness: 7th of June 2020

#WearPurpleForJIA is campaign that was launched in 2015 by two JIA mums to raise much needed awareness and funds for children and young people living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Supported by Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at NRAS.

October

National Arthritis Awareness Week: 7th to 13th of October 2020

Led by the UK’s leading charity for arthritis and related conditions, Versus Arthritis raises awareness with a campaign during the week 7th to 13th of October. In 2019, their campaign #NoPainNoFilter emphasised the pain, without a social media filter, that many of us live with daily when living with arthritis. Versus Arthritis is a merger of UK charities Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK.

World Arthritis Day: 12th October 2020

Arthritis is a disease that affects approximately 350 million people worldwide, including nearly 40 million people in the United States and 10 million people in the UK. The Arthritis Foundation is the largest charity in the USA for arthritis and every year they heavily promote World Arthritis Day on the 12th of October.

I hope these dates are as useful for you as they are for me! Add them into your diary and help me and many others, in the Arthritis Foodie community and beyond, raise important awareness for arthritis across the world.

Thank you! Emily.

Avocado Halves, Arthritis Foodie, Why I Started to blog about my arthritis, young people with arthritis

Why I Started Arthritis Foodie

Run down due to starting a new job a couple of months before, not eating properly due to stress/rushing about/not taking care of myself, and losing more sleep than ever – my body and immune system reacted once again to my lack of self-care. I felt miserable, and my ankle pain and swelling hit an ultimate high – then, on holiday with my friend I was in even more pain as I noticed my right elbow had swollen and I couldn’t extend it to the length of my left one. Terrified, upset, and feeling more alone and burdened with my arthritis than ever before – I wanted to take control, no, I needed to take control of my arthritis – someway, any way at all! So, when I returned from my holiday I ordered a load of books online, stuck my head into those, and buried my mind in online articles too. Then, September 2018, I decided to make a huge lifestyle choice and experiement with food, exercise, and natural remedies on a journey to one day be medication-free.

Since then, a lot has happened. For starters – there is all of YOU. Wow, I did not expect that when I opened the account @ArthritisFoodie it would grow the way that it has, and it has brought so many people together. Originally as a diary to document this journey living with arthritis and experimenting with natural remedies, it has now become a place of support, hope, and patient-to-patient education. A place where we can all talk openly about our arthritis and feel less alone.

With this new lifestyle, I have noticed these changes so far:

  • Improved my immunity: every Winter I end up bed ridden with cold/flu/virus, and I would have at least 10 or more colds that would last for weeks, I have only had 2 since September, with minimal symptoms and recovering faster than ever before.
  • Relieved symptoms in my right elbow: my elbow is now totally back to normal, and both arms stretch to the same length, and I don’t have any pain there either.
  • Still in pain, but pain has decreased massively: I remember being in Nottingham May 2018 for the day and I love to shop (with my mum and sister), but I just couldn’t hack it and had to sit on a bench and wait for them.

I’m still on medication, and there is still a long way to go… But, I am really hopeful of what food, lifestyle, exercise and natural remedies can do.