We would like to express a big thank you to all supporters and donators of UCANR4A!
We are extremely happy we made it from Utrecht to Genua, safe and with a lot of really special experiences on the way! When the planning of our tour started almost 1 year ago, we had specific 3 aims:
We wanted to raise attention for juvenile idiopathic arthritis, we wanted to strengthen international collaborations and we wanted to raise money for research in juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
We believe that we really achieved all of these aims, and this has only been possible thanks to your support! Prior to and during our Fund Raising Bike Tour in September 2016 we did well in the media. We launched 2 websites (www.ucanr4a.eu and www.fietspostvoorjeugdreuma.nl) that raised a lot of attention in social media. We had radio and TV interviews with local and national broadcasting companies. We had items on the arthritis foundations, internet forums / and news sites and had press releases and interviews with newspapers in almost all centers (Utrecht, Aachen, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Zürich, Genoa). And finally, we had a fantastic welcome in all centers we visited, with the pediatric rheumatology teams and also with the patient organisations.
We will use the raised money (almost 30.000€) as a financial basis to build a platform that will focus on severely affected, individual patients that do not, or insufficiently, respond to current registered therapies. The platform will be based at the RWTH Aachen University (UCAN-AC) and closely collaborate with the Utrecht platform (UCAN-U), which compromises state of the art biosampling and proteomics analysis. Analysis of patient samples will be open and free of charge upon collaborative requests by PRES and UCAN members and partners. We aim to make Aachen the next hub for UCAN, as UCAN-Germany and as a start for this, we started already a collaboration between Utrecht and Aachen on a concrete project in systemic juvenile arthritis.
The UCAN (Understanding Childhood Arthritis Network) network has been established in 2009 as an international collaborative network for research in childhood arthritis with the mission to enable excellent research by understanding the biologic basis of clinical heterogeneity in childhood arthritis. Your support was a step further to achieve this mission!!
Klaus and Bas