LONG BEACH, CA — On Thursday, July 8, kids with arthritis will be opening the NASDAQ stock exchange in honor of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.  The Arthritis National Research Foundation will be bringing its supporters and young people with juvenile arthritis to “push the button” at NASDAQ’s Opening Bell Ceremony in Times Square, New York.

In the U.S. alone, 300,000 children suffer from juvenile arthritis (JA), a disease that robs kids of a normal childhood.  Instead of just fighting infections, the immune systems of these children attack the tissues in their own joints, causing constant pain, inflammation and sometimes acute disability and loss of sight.  So, instead of playing outdoors with their friends, children with juvenile arthritis spend many of their days in the hospital receiving strong medications like chemotherapy drugs.

The Arthritis National Research Foundation focuses all of its efforts on arthritis research.  Based in Long Beach, California, they are committed to finding a cure and helping the world understand that kids get arthritis, too.  The Kelly Award for Juvenile Arthritis Research is an annual grant honoring the life of Kelly Rouba, 30, an Arthritis National Research Foundation board member who has suffered from juvenile arthritis since she was two.  Ms. Rouba, a former Miss Wheelchair New Jersey, is a national spokesperson for the Arthritis National Research Foundation and she will be in attendance at the Opening Bell Ceremony.  The Kelly Award is a $75,000 research grant for a juvenile arthritis project.

For more information on juvenile arthritis research, the Kelly Award and the Arthritis National Research Foundation, please visit the website, www.curearthritis.org.

Since 1970, the Arthritis National Research Foundation has been committed to funding the next generation of research scientists by providing grants to promising young investigators with innovative research projects. The research has resulted in the discovery of the molecule that initiates inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, breakthroughs in the use of the gene therapy and other treatments currently in clinical trials for arthritis patients.  Arthritis is the leading cause of disability from which 46 million American adults and 300,000 children suffer.  For more information about the Arthritis National Research Foundation, call 800-588-CURE or visit www.curearthritis.org.