Tristan-Perry (TP) lives with a diagnosis of lupus – one of 140 types of arthritis. It’s an autoimmune condition which causes pain and swelling in joints and muscles. This year, TP was youth-leader at the Children’s Camp.
Held annually, camp is much more than a chance for kids to enjoy themselves – it’s a crucial support group too. Every year, camp shows young Kiwis with arthritis something very important: they may live with pain, but they’re not alone.
Camp attendees, and a parent, can learn from health professionals, older teenagers and of course other kids their own age who struggle with similar conditions.
“The first time I went to camp, it was a little scary because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was just trying to find my feet with everything that was happening to me – emotionally and physically – after being diagnosed in 2015.”
“The benefits of camp came thick and fast, with new faces, information overload, and mostly the support I got. I felt safe.”
Despite having lupus, TP keeps busy with rugby and as a Wellington College Pasifika leader and prefect. “I’m well looked after by a team of doctors. I’m able to talk, share my feelings and have the support I need.”
TP and mum Maria say the services that Arthritis New Zealand provides helps give them the chance to share their stories, help one another, make friends and feel safe.”
How can you help people like TP?
By donating to Arthritis New Zealand you are helping to provide to people with arthritis, at no cost to them:
- An 0800 helpline with direct access to trained, professional arthritis educators, ready to provide advice on living well with arthritis.
- Access to seminars, webinars and other online support channels where people with arthritis can ask questions, find out useful information, and share experiences and tips with others.
- An annual camp for young children with arthritis. This is set up exclusively as a fun environment where they, and a parent, can learn all about how to manage the condition.
- National advocacy on behalf of all people with arthritis. Everyday things such as food and beverage packaging can be challenging for people with arthritis to deal with. Your gift will help fund the ongoing campaign to make packaging more accessible to people with arthritis.
If you have arthritis – call us. We’ll help! (0800 663 463)
If you know someone with arthritis – support us. You’ll help!