The Arthritis Newsletter

Summer 2018

2018 ARThritis Soirée Raises Over $340,000 for Arthritis Research


The Masters of Ceremony duo of Fred Lee from CBC, Vancouver Courier and The Province’s Man About Town, and Sonia Deol, Global BC’s reporter and anchor, carried the evening’s tempo with their energy and enthusiasm, playing a significant role in contributing to the evening’s fabulous-ness and fun!


Research has shown that art adds to one’s wellbeing and is a great element in managing chronic disease on a holistic level. It was from this concept the ARThritis Soirée was created, to bring together those who share a passion for art and a desire to support arthritis research. Each year, to add an extra factor of excitement and depth to the Soirée, a different art form is featured. This year’s theme of music treated guests to an amazing, up-close and personal performance by Juno-award winning artist, Colin James. The Canadian rock and blues performer didn’t disappoint when he took the stage and played some of his most popular songs.


The evening also featured some incredible stories from two inspiring young women. Elise Boisvert, just 16 years of age, spoke of her battle with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis that started at the age of two. Elise urged everyone in attendance to help make arthritis research a priority. Guests also heard from RBC Olympian and snowboarder Spencer O’Brien, who while competing for Canada at the 2018 Olympic Games, revealed she had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 25 years. Between the two it was clear that the ARThritis Soirée is more than just a fun night out. The Soirée is about creating awareness of the need for arthritis research and raising funds to ensure advances in ground-breaking arthritis research continue, for the more than 5.6 million Canadians affected by this disease.


Naz Panahi, Chair of the ARThritis Soirée, spoke about the importance of creating more awareness for arthritis research by shining the spotlight on a disease that for too long has been invisible. She stated “arthritis is often thought of as an older person’s disease and yet we know from listening to Elise and Spencer’s stories tonight that it is a disease that affects all ages, young and old.” Ms. Panahi also expressed her heartfelt gratitude for everyone’s incredible support, stating “your support is pivotal in helping us make a difference in addressing arthritis through research.”


Dr. John Esdaile, Scientific Director of Arthritis Research Canada, shared several examples of how donor dollars make a difference, saying that they help “propel arthritis research forward in the areas of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, and addressing quality of life.” Arthritis is the most costly disease for the Canadian economy and the number one reason for workplace disability, yet arthritis research only receives 2% of the available research dollars in Canada. Dr. Esdaile and his team of researchers are currently conducting more than 75 studies to find new answers and save lives.


The evening’s success was made possible by the generosity and dedication of sponsors, donors and guests. Together, we can make a difference and reduce the burden of arthritis. Thank you everyone for your incredible support!


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