A Corby woman is organising a ‘wear it purple’ day to raise awareness of arthritis in children after her daughter was diagnosed with it at barely two years old.
Farah Mills, now aged four, was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) after she woke up on Christmas morning with a swollen ankle, which soon began to spread through the joints in her body and has affected her eyes.
Her mother, home-carer Lynette Haselip, of Bede Close, said: “It has a huge impact as Farah struggles with walking, writing, and general day to day tasks.
“She needs constant help to get in and out of bed, ride her bike and so on.
“But a major problem is that the medication she has to take is not very good and, as of yet, nothing has worked effectively.
“She has to have weekly, fortnightly and monthly injections, and is on all sorts of painkillers and stomach-protectors as well.
No matter how much pain she is in, Farah is always smiling.Lynette Haselip
“But no matter how much pain she is in, Farah is always smiling.”
To raise awareness of the unusual childhood condition, Mrs Haselip and fellow ‘JIA mum’ Sarah Evans have created #wearpurpleforjia day on Friday, June 19, to coincide with the end of Rhuematoid Arthritis Week and they are asking people, schools and groups around the region to post their selfies in purple.
The 30-year-old said: “JIA doesn’t really get any coverage and most people aren’t even aware that children can get arthritis, so we decided to do something to try and get that message out.
“We are trying to get as many people as possible taking part and talking out #wearpurplefforjia and the amount of support we have received so far has been amazing.
“Farah’s nursery, Oakey Dokey Childcare, are already taking part, as are local business, such as Corby Tennis Centre, Studio 21 and High Maintenance Salon and the band EofE.
“We hope lots of other nurseries, schools and groups will wear people on the day, take pictures and help us paint social media and even the country purple for the day.”
As well as #wearpurpleforjia event, Mrs Haselip and other JIA families are trying to raise money to support the Children’s Arthritis Trust (CATS) via a Just Giving page.
To find out more about #wearpurpleforjia, visit the Facebook page.