Saturday, December 9, 2006

The Kelly Award

The Arthritis National Research Foundation proudly announces The Kelly Award

The Arthritis National Research Foundation recently announced it's creation of The Kelly Award.  This special designation will be awarded annually to one Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) grant recipient studying juvenile arthritis.

Arthritis is often considered “an old person’s disease.”  Unfortunately, one may fall victim to the devastating effects of arthritis at any age, including young children. 

 “Kelly” in The Kelly Award is ANRF board member, Kelly Rouba.  Ms. Rouba, age 29, is a national spokesperson for ANRF and an inspiration to all who come in contact with her.  She has had debilitating rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 2.  Despite the chronic and often severe pain she suffers every day, Kelly is a successful writer and advocate for people with all disabilities, not limited to arthritis.  Her beauty, inside and out, was celebrated when she won Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey in December 2006.

Kelly was only 19 years old when she was thrown into the fast-paced world of news reporting. While still in college, Kelly was a stringer for the Trenton Times, marking the start of her career in professional writing.  She recently authored a book geared to helping young patients and their families deal with juvenile arthritis entitled, Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide, published by Scarecrow Press.  The book is available online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

For the past few years, Kelly has written for numerous magazines and web sites.  She is a much sought-after public speaker, inspiring thousands of young people to be the best they can be.  Much of her time is now spent working as a Special Needs Specialist for the Dept. of Homeland Security/FEMA Region II.  Through this position, she handles emergency preparedness issues relating to special needs populations. She also sits on the NJ Special Needs Advisory Panel.

The Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Grant Guidelines state its intention to fund at least one juvenile arthritis project each year.  We at ANRF hope that The Kelly Award and Kelly herself will make people aware of juvenile arthritis and its impact on so many young people and their families.

“I am committed to finding a cure for the over 300,000 youth in America with juvenile arthritis,” says Kelly, “and research is the key.  It can rob our youth of their childhood – people need to know that arthritis is not only a disease that afflicts you as you age.  It is our goal at ANRF to educate America about the devastating effects of arthritis on young people, too.”

Since 1970, the Arthritis National Research Foundation has been committed to funding the next generation of research scientists by providing annual grants to promising young investigators with innovative research projects in the germinal stage. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability from which 46 million American adults and 300,000 children suffer. Arthritis comprises more than 100 different diseases, including osteoarthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other forms of autoimmune diseases studied by ANRF scientists. Since 2000, ANRF has given more than $6 million in research grants. For more information about the Kelly Award and ANRF, call 800-588-CURE or visit

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