Arthri­tis af­fects ev­ery­one, so­ci­ety meet­ing hears

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH - BY JAMESMCLEOD

At the Arthri­tis So­ci­ety an­nual gen­eral meet­ing Wed­nes­day evening, the mes­sage was clear: it’s not just a dis­ease that af­fects the el­derly.

Speak­ers men­tioned young chil­dren and work­ing adults who strug­gle with the chronic pain of the con­di­tion.

Mau­reen Quiq­ley, in­com­ing na­tional chair­woman of the so­ci­ety, said arthri­tis af­fects four mil­lion Cana­di­ans — 60 per cent of whom are work­ing age.

“Arthri­tis can af­fect any­one at any age,” said Brenda Kitchen, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for New­found­land and Labrador. “It can be very de­bil­i­tat­ing, and we’re talk­ing chronic pain ev­ery sin­gle day, mak­ing the things that you and I take for granted take for­ever.”

Keith Hutchings, pro­vin­cial par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary for health, spoke at the event, ap­plaud­ing the

– Brenda Kitchen

so­ci­ety and an­nounc­ing a $50,000 grant from the govern­ment.

“ This govern­ment re­al­izes the value that groups such as the Arthri­tis So­ci­ety bring to this prov­ince and to the peo­ple af­fected by the dis­ease,” Hutchings said.

Some of the money will be used, Kitchen said, to de­velop a mar­ket­ing strat­egy to get the arthri­tis mes­sage out to ru­ral New­found­land.

In smaller com­mu­ni­ties, she said, its harder to get ac­cess to the spe­cial­ists who can di­ag­nose and treat arthri­tis.

For that rea­son, she said, any­one who is suf­fer­ing from joint pain — even if they don’t have an arthri­tis di­ag­no­sis — should con­tact the so­ci­ety.

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