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Community Press-Mason -- Local Juvenile Arthritis Efforts Win National Award

The Arthritis Foundation has recognized the Ohio River Valley Chapter for its programming efforts that strive to reach the approximately 13,750 children in the area with some form of juvenile arthritis. The program, ranging from conferences and educational materials to public awareness events like a Fun Run and a Girl Scout merit badge have been funded largely by grants from the Chales H. Dater Foundation. The local chapter received the Award of Excellence at the Arthritis Foundation's meeting in San Diego. Mason resident Barb Precht, whose son Ryan, 14, has battled juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since he was 2-years-old, received the award on behalf of the local American Juvenile Arthritis Organization (AJAO) chapter. "AJAO works as advocates to improive the quality of life for children and young adults with rheumatic diseases by working toward improved medical care, providing collective and individual advocacy, stimulating research and providing education and support," Precht said. Some of American Juvenile Arthritis Organization's best educational efforts happen at Camp Diversity, a disability awareness program. Camp Diversity gives Girl Scouts the opportunity to experience first hand just how difficult functioning can be for a child with arthritis or other disabilities, funded by the Charles H. Dater Foundation. For the past two years the Foundation's gifts have helped make not only Camp Diversity a reality, but also several other educational conferences for parents and children, specialized literature on juvenile arthritis and the "Kids Get Arthritis Too" Fun Run that takes place in conjunction with the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis in December. For more information, visit www.arthritis.org or call (513)271-4545.



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