Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Surprise for Monkey

Back in August I posted about how Monkey was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. Since then I’ve been doing some research…not only on the disease itself but also to find other local families who are also dealing with JA. The staff at the Arthritis Foundation has been a HUGE help. They have directed me to a local chapter who have in turn been keeping me updated on local events. (Unfortunately, we just missed their JA even at the local Children’s museum but hopefully we’ll we able to make it next year.) The kindness and helpfulness of the staff has been amazing. Not only have they responded quickly to my inquiries but they have helped me sign up for their newsletter and signed Monkey up for a special care package.

When they told me about the package I was expecting the normal free stuff…you know, the cheap, mass produced items companies usually hand out at expos and such. Well, yesterday Monkey’s package arrived and boy were we surprised!

Inside there was a large, sturdy backpack full of fun stuff for him and a smaller tote with items for me. In the smaller bag there was the current newsletter along with a health organizer where I can keep all Monkey’s health information and notes about his experience with JA. There was also a great book for parents…Raising a Child with Arthritis. I’ve skimmed through the book a bit and I’m really looking forward to reading it. There are chapters that detail the different types of JA as well as all the treatments that are available and explanations of the different medications.
In Monkey’s backpack we found a book about soothing pain called Imagine a Rainbow, there were also pencils and a notebook (which he’s already been ‘writing’ in), there was a stainless steel water bottle, some spray hand sanitizer, a name tag where I can put his medical info to attach to his bag, and then there was a bear. Brandon Bear to be exact.

This little guy is not only SO cute but he is super soft! Monkey couldn’t wait to cuddle him. The best part about this bear though is that he is a warming bear from from Relax….with Flax. We immediately warmed Teddy Bear (Monkey had to change his name!) in the microwave and snuggled with him.

I am so thankful for the resources that were sent and that are available to us and I’m even more thankful for the genuine people out there who are helping kids, like Monkey, deal with JA. There are over 300,000 other kiddos out there who have JA with more being diagnosed every day. It’s real, kids do get arthritis too.

I want to personally thank Allison and Caitlin with the Arthritis Foundation for answering my many questions and for sending us such an awesome package. I also want to thank those at Relax…with Flax for the awesome bear and for creating such a great comfort item for kiddos like Monkey.