Regardless of the outcome of my somewhat awkward telephone interview to work as a counselor at Camp JRA in Pennsylvania, I know I would still really like a chance to work with kids dealing with JRA and other arthritis-related chronic diseases. I can't say I know what it is like to be a kid with arthritis, but I do know what it is like to deal with joint pain and fatigue every single day. And, seeing as I know how to stay positive and I haven't let RA stop me from accomplishing my goals, I think I would make a really great role model for kids living with arthritis. On a more personal level, I also think I could learn a lot from a chance to know and connect with such brave and amazing kids. I think I could help them, and I think they could help me.
After my phone interview, I got an email from the director of Camp JRA recommending that I look into volunteer options at the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. So I did just that. Though not as obviously advertised as Camp JRA, it turns out that the Rocky Mountain Chapter also hosts a camp for kids with arthritis related diseases in Estes Park, which is only about an hour from my house!!
So I sent off an email to the Director of Programs to ask about volunteer opportunities, and I was super delighted when she invited me to meet her for coffee!! I met her today and I was even more delighted to discover that it looks like there are several opportunities for met to get involved with JRA kids and the Arthritis Foundation right here in Colorado. I can't wait to hear more from her about how I can help!
The more I learn about kids dealing with arthritis, the more I want to meet them and learn their stories and find positive ways to help. Here are just a couple of amazing kids that inspire me: