Having to learn how to self-inject medication at the age of 11 years is a common experience amongst teenagers and children who have a form of arthritis. Now 21 years old, Jacob Toresen is no stranger to self-administering injections, learning to limit himself, and the nasty trials and errors of finding a treatment plan that works, while living with an invisible illness, and the isolation attached to it during the school and university years.

Jacob and TP at Teen’s Camp 2019

Teenagers with arthritis do not fit the stereotype of arthritis affecting older people only. “Isn’t that what old people get?” is a common reaction when teens with arthritis tell others about their arthritis. Often young people with arthritis are overlooked and their needs not considered when youth health and wellbeing are under the spotlight. Arthritis New Zealand believes that teens with arthritis have some clear needs and held its annual camp for this group from 6 to 8 December at El Rancho on the Kapiti Coast.

Fifteen teenagers from around New Zealand came together for education, leadership development and the opportunity to meet with others their age who know what it is like to be a teenager who has arthritis.

Two youths that helped lead the teens this weekend are young men who have grown up with arthritis since childhood and understand the challenges of growing up with the condition that is too often only associated with old age.

Jacob Toresen is one of those leaders, and his story illustrates these challenges. Diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis at 11 years old, Jacob said that at the time he did not realise the impact this would have on his life. “It changed completely,” he recalls. “I couldn’t run around with my friends at school, and I felt left out. I had to have many tests and trials to find the right medication and going to an Arthritis New Zealand camp was unbelievably beneficial for me. I learned I was not alone and that was so helpful.”

That’s why Jacob returns to Arthritis New Zealand camps. He shares his story and helps others learn that life with arthritis does not mean you cannot achieve and do well.

Jacob has finished his final year of law school and is a great role model for the teens gathering this weekend. Activities include team-building games, education about arthritis and its management, and leadership skills and opportunities.

“It is so important to learn to pace yourself, learn limits and realise that sometimes you may need to take a break. Arthritis camps have been a highlight of my journey growing up with arthritis. I want all families who have children with arthritis to know about these camps” says Jacob.

Help us to keep sharing stories!

We are a charity that relies on community funding. Help us keep finding and sharing stories from people with arthritis by making a donation today!

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Arthritis New Zealand

Enter the iconic Rotorua Marathon 2020 and make every step count by fundraising for Arthritis New Zealand!

The event caters for runners and walkers of all levels, with the Full Marathon (42.2km), Red Stag Timber off-road Half Marathon (21km) as well as a 10km and 5.5km fun run.

If you would like to ‘Race for Good’ for Arthritis New Zealand please select us as your preferred charity in registration and we will be in touch.

Enter today: www.rotoruamarathon.co.nz/

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Watch now: Common Myths about Arthritis

Arthritis Educator Allan Desquitado talks about common myths about arthritis

Click on this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO2roc6CB-g&feature=youtu.be

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This Friday, 10 July 2020 Nutrition Foundation Rotorua are starting their Just Cook 4HA programme for the first time during winter season.

Focus will be on winter warmers and what to choose to keep up our immune system at its optimum. There are only few places available for the programme starting end of this week, and more spaces available for programme starting in August. The programme caters for our 55+y whanau.

Please contact Tatjana at 027 3911 633 to register for the programme and for volunteering opportunities.

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We are currently looking for expressions of interest in Whanganui to join our 6 week Arthritis New Zealand CYCLE FORWARD programme starting in September 2020. Qualified coaches to assist and bikes to help you get started.

Contact: Lori Davis: lori.davis@arthritis.org.nz or Michelle Mackenzie: michelle_row@hotmail.com

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Research Results out: Evaluation of Gout Stop and Owning My Gout Management Programmes
Report by Synergia for Arthritis New Zealand and its partners PHARMAC and the Health Quality and Safety Commission. Download here: https://www.arthritis.org.nz/

Stilettos, sex and sleep- although not in that order 😉- lovely conversation 🎙️with @normanswan about high heeled shoes and pain exacerbation in hip #osteoarthritis @RadioNational https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/template/12401966

Volunteer with an organisation that has core values that resonate with your own, and gain valuable work experience at the same time.

Valerie Milne is a Researcher and has been key in advising us on the development of our peer support programme for the newly diagnosed.

#arthritis #volunteers


Peg and Jacob are board members and both have inflammatory arthritis. Read about why they chose to be involved in the organisation and what volunteering means to them…
#nvw2020 #volunteersweek2020

"By moving the email of Arthritis New Zealand to Office 365, GoCloud reduced the associated cost by over $50,000.”
#nvw2020 #volunteersweek2020

"For many Māori, mahi aroha is carried out for the benefit of whanau and iwi, it is often seen as an essential part of fulfilling their cultural responsibility to the wider collective."
#nvw2020 #volunteersweek2020

"Being involved with Arthritis New Zealand has taught me that no goal is unattainable with the right mindset and perseverance."
Find out how volunteer camp leader Matt, and the paediatric rheumatology team help people with arthritis. https://bit.ly/318BtjE
#nvw2020 #volunteers

Meet Tessa, Hannah and Laura. Tessa and Hannah help us look after some social media groups and Laura did a few video clips sharing her personal tips for managing her arthritis. Thank you for helping us raise awareness!
#nvw2020 #volunteers

Join @HQSCNZ @PHARMACnz @ArthritisNZ and Health Literacy NZ at 7pm on 1 July 2020, for a free webinar on equitable approaches to gout management in Aotearoa New Zealand. Find out more or register at: https://bit.ly/2UXK5pr. #gout #webinar

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