A day at the JA Conference.

A conference for kids with arthritis?

What is all this talk about a conference for juvenile arthritis?

I had heard a lot about this conference, but hey, I have been to so many conferences. Lots of sitting around in those uncomfortable chairs drinking lukewarm coffee with someone telling me how to live life. Not my favorite thing to do.

Until now.

First, I felt honored that the Arthritis Foundation asked me to speak and lead an image class for Young Adults.Second, I was curious, how could these kids have fun at a conference? And Third, I wanted to meet all of my Facebook and Twitter friends. I felt like I knew them well but to see them in person? That was what I looked forward to the most.

Well, now I know what everyone has been talking about. Why JA and RA families want to travel across the country to wherever this conference is being held.

The reason? IT’S MAGICAL

The JA Conference is magical. Sure the chairs are the same and the coffee is too, but the work, planning, love and dedication that goes into making kids, teens and young adults have an incredible experience is beyond anything I have ever seen….and I’ve seen the biggest and best of the entertainment worlds conferences.

There is something for everyone. It’s not a lecture, it’s a sharing, a uniting of people who have something important in common. This sharing lets us know we are not alone. There are people who care and understand. Nobody said, “Yeah, I have arthritis, look at my big toe.”

Nobody had to say anything, we just got it.

Everyone had fun.

Everyone felt the love.

Everyone felt the support.

And lucky, lucky me, I was there to experience it.

Do I want to go again? I can’t wait. There are so many more people to meet. So many more friends to make.

When I got home my husband asked me, “So how was it?”

I didn’t have to think a second before I replied, “It was magical.”

Christine front and center at the JA Conference

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