On Thursday July 8th, I participated in the NASDAQ’s opening bell ceremony in Times Square in honor of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. It was an honor for me, as a national spokesperson and Board member for the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF), to join Executive Director Helene Belisle and other youth with juvenile arthritis as well as medical professionals. Among them were Shaun-Marie Robbins (age 30), who lives in Hamilton and was diagnosed at 1 ½ years old, and Carrick Porter, a teenager who has juvenile arthritis and lives in Hopewell.
Photo of Kelly Rouba with Shaun-Marie Robbins (on right) and William Scannon, Rouba’s neighbor and the inspiration behind ANRF’s Marathon for a Cure program.
At the ceremony, NASDAQ officials and Belisle spoke about The Kelly Award for Juvenile Arthritis Research. Each year, ANRF awards this $75,000 grant to a scientist studying a cure for juvenile arthritis. Interestingly, the researcher who received the grant this year would not have been able to continue her work without the funding.
The general public is still largely unaware that children and even infants can get arthritis, not to mention how damaging it can be. I am very grateful that NASDAQ chose to highlight the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s efforts to find a cure and further awareness by inviting us to participate in their opening bell ceremony during Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. It was an amazing experience.
For more information, visit www.curearthritis.org or call Derek Belisle, marketing assistant for ANRF, at 800-588-2873.