Join the LHSC Paediatric Rheumatology team and raise money to support treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis!

Cassie and friends

August 30, 2022

Photo: From left to right: Dr. Roberta Berard; Danielle Diotte, RN; Michelle Diebold, RN; Lori Sheidow, MSW; Cindy Stewart, Physiotherapist.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) affects one in 1,000 Canadian children. In Canada, there are 25, 000 people living with JIA.

JIA is considered if a child under 16 years of age develops joint inflammation that lasts longer than six weeks, and other causes have been ruled out. There are a range of symptoms of JIA, which include:

  • Joint swelling and pain
  • Joints can be warm to the touch
  • A high fever lasting at least two weeks and pink rash
  • Joints that are stiff in the morning and improve over the day
  • Some children with JIA may develop eye inflammation, which is called Uveitis.

Over the longer term, if arthritis is left untreated, muscles and other soft tissue around the joint may weaken and bone growth may be affected.

LHSC Paediatric Rheumatology

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has a Paediatric Rheumatology department that helps treat and manage the symptoms of JIA for patients under the age of 18. Dr. Roberta Berard, Paediatrician, notes that JIA symptoms can be challenging for a child to deal with as it not only affects their growth and development but, “JIA can also negatively affect social aspects of children’s lives. Other children, and adults, may not understand that kids with JIA require breaks from physical activity, for example.”

You can read an account from a youth (not currently treated at LHSC) who describes what it’s like living with juvenile arthritis.

Cassie + Friends walk/run event

Cassie + Friends is the only charity in Canada that dedicates 100% to the paediatric rheumatic disease community. Rooted in four pillars, they champion research, information, connection and support for paediatric rheumatic diseases. Cassie and Friends began in British Columbia, but has branched out to include hubs in most paediatric rheumatology centres across Canada with parent champions who have taken on the hosting responsibilities for their own local events to raise awareness and fundraise.

There is a London event that will be held at Gibbons Park on September 25 that raises money for LHSC’s Paediatric Rheumatology department.
Funds raised from the Cassie + Friends walk/run have helped the LHSC department purchase two Dermlite scopes (a specialized light that highlights skin lesions that are important to detect and monitor some rheumatic diseases), items used for paediatric rheumatology procedures, supplies for an emergency support cupboard in the Paediatric Medical Day Unit (PMDU), and other items that help patients and their families with hospital visits and symptom management/treatment.

All of the money raised at the London event goes to LHSC’s Paediatric Rheumatology department. The Cassie + Friends organization does not take any cut of the donations.

The Cassie + Friends London walk/run is in full swing this year and is offering virtual and in-person options to participate. If you want to participate or support LHSC’s Paediatric Rheumatology team, you can join their team, create your own team, donate to the LHSC team or to the individual LHSC participants. You can visit the Team Cassie + Friends London site to donate to the team and/or register for the event.


Date and time: Sunday, September 25 at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Gibbons Park (Grosvenor Street, London, ON)


  • In-Person Walk/Run - $25
  • Kids In-Person Walk/Run - $15
  • Virtual Walk/Run - $15

Registration costs cover a Team C+F technical running t-shirt, use of the fundraising platform, professional on-site photographer and celebratory cupcakes and beverages.

LHSC team name: Children’s Hospital, LHSC Pediatric Rheumatology


Email the event contact, Jennifer Wilson, at

The contact person is also noted on the London event website at the bottom of the page.