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Jessica Daitch

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Film Kicks Off Arthritis Awareness Month

UPPER NYACK, NY (May 1, 2020) – CreakyJoints®, the digital arthritis community for patients and caregivers worldwide and part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, today premiered a new short film titled “Joint Effort,” produced by filmmaker Zeppelin Zeerip, founder of Field Work Creative, about his younger sister Zoe, 23, who was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) at age thirteen.  Using black and white images to demonstrate the pain and challenges Zoe faced as a child learning to manage JIA, the video raises awareness during May’s Arthritis Awareness Month of a chronic illness that impacts an estimated 300,000 children in the United States.

Joint Effort includes Zoe Zeerip reciting a poem written by Marialyce Zeerip, her mother, titled Made to Move. Referencing the onset of her arthritis, Zoe Zeerip says, “I was made to move. A force of nature. Swift, powerful, determined. Fighting forward, relentless…until…You arrived. No hesitation in your step. No intention to wait.”

“Joint Effort is a powerful, thoughtful exploration of how it feels to be diagnosed with a serious and lifelong condition like arthritis,” said Seth D. Ginsberg, president and co-founder of CreakyJoints and the Global Healthy Living Foundation who was also diagnosed with arthritis at 13.

“Arthritis Awareness Month is the perfect time to share this video because it will generate impassioned dialogue among members of our patient communities as they relate to Zeppelin’s film and Zoe’s story as she triumphs over pain and celebrates her ability to move and be free.”

You Can Be Better Than Fine

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 22.7 percent, or 54.4 million U.S. adults, have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Although arthritis prevalence increases with age, it is common for children to be diagnosed with JIA if they experience symptoms such as joint pain, swelling, fever, stiffness, rash, fatigue, loss of appetite, inflammation of the eye, and difficulty with daily living activities such as walking, dressing, and playing. The overall treatment goal is to control symptoms, prevent joint damage, and maintain function.

Exemplifying the 2020 CreakyJoints theme for Arthritis Awareness Month, “When ‘Fine’ is Not Fine,”  Zoe Zeerip spent the last decade learning to not only manage her JIA but thrive. Despite needing two weekly shots and other prescriptions to manage her pain and other symptoms, she is an active mountain and road biker, a Protect Our Winters Field Representative, and master’s candidate at the University of York. She is based in Grand Rapids, MI.

“Watching Zoe silently cope with arthritis for over a decade, without even some of her closest friends knowing she had the disease, made me want to share her story because I’ve witnessed her overcome any challenge that arthritis put in her path,” said filmmaker Zeerip. “Arthritis isn’t something that needs to be taken on alone. I hope our film and her story resonates with the arthritis community and inspires others to live an active life despite an arthritis diagnosis.”

To watch “Joint Effort” visit www.creakyjoints.org/jointeffort

To learn more about juvenile idiopathic arthritis and all other forms of arthritis visit www.CreakyJoints.org

CreakyJoints is a digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research. We represent patients through our popular social media channels @Creakyjoints on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/creakyjoints on Facebook, our website www.CreakyJoints.org, and the 50-State Network, which includes more than 1,500 trained volunteer patient, caregiver and healthcare activists.

As part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, CreakyJoints also has a patient-reported outcomes registry called ArthritisPower® (ArthritisPower.org) with nearly 30,000 consented arthritis patients who track their disease while volunteering to participate in longitudinal and observational research. CreakyJoints also publishes the popular “Raising the Voice of Patients” series, which are downloadable patient-centered educational and navigational tools for managing chronic illness. It also hosts PainSpot (PainSpot.org), a digital risk assessment tool for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. For more information and to become a member (for free), visit www.CreakyJoints.org.