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The finest of ARTS and Science

Lorraine Graves   May-09-2017

Shauneen Kellner, executive director of Arthritis Research Canada.

Photo by Chung Chow


The finest in the arts and sciences will come together at the upcoming ARThritis Soirée, a benefit for Richmond’s arthritis research centre.

Arthritis Research Canada’s executive director Shauneen Kellner says the May 18 fundraiser in Downtown Vancouver attracts “those who share a passion and appreciation of art and a desire to support arthritis research.”

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This is the fifth year that business and community leaders, philanthropists, doctors, scientists, and health care professionals will gather to relish the arts and support their work.

Headquartered in Richmond, with help from Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation, Arthritis Research Canada (ARC) is North America’s largest arthritis research centre, responsible for overseeing $5 million in research funding last year alone.

Arthritis receives about three per cent of research dollars in Canada yet, according to ARC’s scientific director Dr. John Esdaile: “Arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases costs Canadians more than heart disease, lung disease and cancer and those are just the dollar costs.”

“There are, as we know, many other costs to arthritis,” he says.

While the World Health Organization says Canada’s main cause of disability is arthritis and its related musculoskeletal diseases, ARC’s $5 million annual budget works out to just under one dollar of research for every Canadian with arthritis.

Their research projects range from novel therapies to programs like “Making It Work,” which looks at ways to keep people on the job, earning a living while they learn to live with arthritis.

With a strong belief that scientific research is only of value once it’s put to use, ARC supports not only teaching the public how to use new discoveries but also guiding doctors to offer the best in treatment based on new research findings. One example of new findings is the high value of movement.

Previously, people with arthritis tried to rest their joints as much as possible. Today, thanks to research, it is clear that good exercise helps to maintain joint health for everyone including those with arthritis. “Use it or lose it” comes into play in joint disease too.

On Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m. in the Roof Room at the Hotel Vancouver you will have a chance to rub shoulders with the brightest and best names in arthritis research at the ARThritis Soiree. “The ARThritis Soirée promises something for everyone, including fabulous hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and wine coupled with an amazing raffle, and tempting live and silent auctions,” says Kellner.

Attendees will also be treated to a concert by world-renowned violinist Jenny Baie with members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

“The suffering from arthritis needs to end,” says Baie.“We can only get there through arthritis research. Please join me in supporting the incredibly important work of Arthritis Research Canada.”

To treat aching and stiff joints requires early diagnosis, movement, treatment and someday, a cure. To get there, says Esdaile, “The answer is research.”


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