The Art Group of Sedella is to organise a fundraising event to sell paintings, drawings, photographs and art cards during the summer fiesta that will take place in the village from July 28 until August 4.

All proceeds from the sale will go to Moving4, the charity which supports children who suffer from Juvenile Arthritis in Spain, a little understood medical condition that causes chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis in children and young people.

Juvenile Arthritis is a disease of the autoimmune system that can cause blindness and which affects the joints, soft and connective tissue and which can also damage the major organs.

There is no known cause and no cure and it currently affects around 2,000 children in Spain. The disease is little known and even less well understood outside the families of the children who are sufferers and an objective of the Sedella event is to raise awareness of the condition.

A family in Sedella has a 4 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis when she was only 22 months old. Since the diagnosis she has undergone two operations in which she has had fluid drained from her knees and elbows; has had to take oral steroids to reduce inflamation; and has undergone a course of low dose chemotherapy. She has regular check ups at the Materno Infantil hospital in Málaga which include blood tests and scans.

Although there is no cure, the children who suffer from the condition can go into periods of remission and during those times they can be as physically active as any other child of the same age, however, they never know whether, on the next day, they will be in hospital, unable to move and in severe pain.

Because the chemotherapy treatment suppresses the immune system a common cold may turn into pneumonia and even a simple childhood illness, like Chicken Pox, may prove fatal.

As part of the awareness raising campaign local school children have been invited to enter a special art competition. There will be prizes for the winners and their pictures will be displayed alongside those of the Sedella Art Group during the exhibition to be held during Sedella's summer fiesta.

Elena, the spokesperson for the Sedella Art Group said -
"When the local school heard about our event they asked whether there was any way in which they could give their support. It is wonderful when children want to help other children and the competition is a creative and fun way for them to get involved."

The fundraising event has the full support of the Alcalde of Sedella, José Antonio Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, the teniente Alcalde, Francisco Abolafio and the Ayuntamiento of Sedella as well as that of Moving4, the Spanish charity that supports research; the training of specialist doctors; the raising of awareness of the disease; and which gives much needed support to the families of children who suffer from Juvenile Arthritis in Spain.

José Antonio Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, the Alcalde of Sedella, said -
'We are very pleased to support the Art Group's efforts to raise both funds for and awareness of this distressing and potentially crippling disease."

The organisers of the event would like to know of any other child sufferers of the illness who live within the province of Málaga.

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