Improving the lives of children with arthritis

Improving the lives of children with arthritis

“I thank everyone involved who made this weekend happen. It has helped me so very much in all aspects. Being newly diagnosed, it has been a blessing to talk to other families.”


Camp Twinkletoes is an annual event designed to help families caring for young children with juvenile arthritis. The 2017 program opened on a Friday evening with an informal discussion. Two camp leaders shared their experience of growing up with arthritis with the parents and carers of children (aged 21 months to 8 years) who attended camp seeking information and support for their families.

The parents all reported that this session was extremely insightful and informative.

Saturday’s program was designed to provide parents and carers with information about how to manage and care for their child, while children were entertained with activities including craft, games and bottle rocket designing/launching.

The education sessions – led by paediatric rheumatologist Dr Jeffrey Chaitow, Uniting NDIS presenter, Julie de Mesa and District Manager Donna Dives, paediatric rheumatology clinical nurse consultant, Anne Senner and physiotherapist Melanie Ryan – provided parents with tools to manage their child’s health.

The day concluded with a performance by Matt Falloon & his Trained Balloons where Matt rounded the program by literally putting himself inside a balloon.



We would like to acknowledge the following organisations that generously supported camp families by donating gift vouchers and products:

Notemaker supplied beautiful Moleskine notebooks and pens for parents to capture notes from the speakers. They are also offering friends of Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW a 15% discount across their entire website. Enter the code ‘CAMPTWINKLETOES15’ at the check out to redeem the discount (valid until 30 April 2017).

Four In The Bed makes nightwear for little ones right through to the big kids using only natural cotton fabrics. They donated pyjamas to Camp Twinkletoes.

NBC Universal donated a collection of merchandise from the movie Sing including drink bottles, notepads and Buster Moon key rings.

Shoes & Sox specialises in children’s footwear ranging from fashion, sports and school shoes for infants all the way through to teenagers. They donated gift vouchers for a couple of lucky children to receive new season shoes.

Zoggs is an Australian company that produces high quality swimming products and kindly provided goggles for all of the kids at Camp Twinkletoes.

STAEDTLER provided beautiful colouring pens pencils for our crafty kids to use over the weekend.

Luna Park Sydney donated a family pass for a day of unlimited rides and fun!

Jamberoo donated a double pass for one of our families to have a day full of action.

stuckonyou produces some of the cutest and coolest labels for school wear and donated some of their new Smudgi sticky screen cleaners that stick to a device and can be peeled off to clean those smudgyscreens.

minti is an Australian boutique kids clothing label based in Melbourne and gifted one of our families a voucher to add to their little one’s winter wardrobe.

Lindt provided us with delicious and delectable Lindor caramel chocolates.

Ugly Fish is a leading Aussie eyewear brand who specialises in polarised sunnies and donated a few pairs to protect the eyes of some of our campers.

Kido Store is a family concept store and leading online kids boutique. They gifted one of our families with a shopping voucher.


When asked what the most important aspect of camp was, families responded with:

“To meet other families that know what we’re going through.”

“From the volunteers to the parents, each person has made me feel so very at ease…providing me with a lot of information…giving me reassurance.”


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Camp Twinkletoes was held from 7-9 April at The Tops Convention Centre, Stanwell Tops. Eight families attended along with six volunteer camp leaders (three of whom have juvenile arthritis) and three Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW staff.