JRA 5K: Racing To Cure Juvenile Arthritis


JRA 5K: Racing To Cure Juvenile Arthritis

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Such a powerful quote sums up the beginnings of what is sure to be an amazing event, in the fight to cure juvenile arthritis, for years to come.

2014 has been an exciting year for Racing For A Cure as teams raised more funds for arthritis research than in any previous year. However, to top it off one special family decided to start the first ever race solely dedicated to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and the nearly 300,000 kids suffering with various forms of juvenile arthritis.

The JRA 5K was started by Tonya Robb and her daughter Ivy in an effort to raise funds and awareness for juvenile arthritis research through the Arthritis National Research Foundation. Ivy, age 14, was diagnosed with JRA at age two when her knee swelled up to the size of a grapefruit.

Tonya and Ivy

After years of doctors visit, medications and pain Ivy knew that she wanted to do something to make a difference. That’s when she began brainstorming with her family about what they might do.

“I’m in constant pain and sometimes there’s nothing that helps,” said Ivy. “Also, knowing there’s no cure makes it even worse. That’s why my mom and I decided to finally start fighting back by organizing the JRA 5K in Virginia, Minnesota.”

JRA5K Bags

When Tonya went to her husband with the idea he couldn’t imagine how they were going to pull it off.

“I felt that putting on an event was going to be a challenge, especially in our small town,” said her husband Dan, “But I knew that if anyone could make it happen it was Tonya and Ivy, so I was going to be by their side until the end.”

With the support of the rest of their family Tonya, Dan, Ivy and her two sisters, Lily and Nadia, set out to create the first annual JRA 5K. Even with a few bumps in the road, the event was an overwhelming success.

JRA5K - The Robb Family

“We are already looking forward to next year with a bigger and better event,” said Tonya, “It means so much to our family to give back and fight back against this horrible disease. If we can inspire at least a few other people to get involved and make a difference it will make everything worth it!”

Tonya, Ivy and the rest of the family have inspired us and we are looking forward to next year’s event. If they’ve inspired you please check out www.JRA5K.org and contact us if you’re interested in starting an event in your area.

Let us know how you feel about the JRA 5K in the comments below!

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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