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Each November, U.S. Pain offers a month-long educational campaign to provide helpful information and resources to people living with pain and their caregivers. In honor of the young individuals who have had to find their new “normal” at an early age, U.S. Pain Foundation is dedicating this year’s KNOWvember campaign to pediatric pain warriors.

Children with pain and their families face a unique set of challenges. To help them navigate these challenges, U.S. Pain will provide daily social media facts throughout the month and the chance to interact leading experts in the pediatric pain arena through several webinars.

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Each year, U.S. Pain engages in a month-long educational campaign aimed at providing helpful information and resources to people living with pain and their caregivers. To honor the young pain warriors who have had to find their new “normal” at an early age, U.S. Pain Foundation is dedicating this year’s KNOWvember campaign to pediatric pain warriors.

Through virtual offerings such as webinars, Twitter chats, and Facebook live events, along with daily facts, the pain community will be given the chance to engage with leading experts, nonprofit organizations, children with chronic illness, and others passionate advocates.

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Psychologist Jenna Krook, MS, offers advice on how to become your child’s best advocate.

Dear fellow parents,

Our journey started seven years ago when our son was diagnosed at 10 years old with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). This mysterious and debilitating condition was overwhelming—it became the center of our lives.

Being an advocate for a sick child is a difficult role. When you face a condition as misunderstood and overwhelming as RSD, finding the time and resources to discover and advocate for treatment and intervention is a challenge. Learning what will work for your child takes time, and there is no quick answer.

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U.S. Pain was one of several organizations to sponsor 58 children with chronic pain and their families to attend Pediatric Pain Camp at The Center for Courageous Kids, a facility in Scottsville, KY, that offers summer camp programming for kids with serious illnesses. The camp provides activities suitable for children with different abilities and offers an on-site medical center staffed by a full-time doctor.

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Peek and Tyler Cashman with the funds raised from Penny Wars

Sadie Peek, one of U.S. Pain’s pediatric pain warriors, is proof that one young person really can have an impact on the world. Last year, as a junior at St. Bernard School in Uncasville, CT, she had a great idea: setting up a fundraiser for U.S. Pain that would allow classes to compete against each other—even undermine each other—to raise donations. “Penny Wars on Pain” was born.

“Penny Wars on Pain” uses a novel approach to raising money. Like many other fundraisers, there’s a prize for the class that raises the most money (in this case, the winners celebrated with a donut party); unlike most other fundraisers, there’s an element of sabotage in play. The challenge’s basis is to raise the greatest amount of money using the smallest possible denominations of coins. Each class has a donation box, and each penny added by a student is a positive point for his or her class. The twist is that students then can sabotage the other classes by dropping denominations larger than a penny into other classes’ bins, which counts for negative points for the class receiving them. For instance, if you drop $1? That’s negative 100 points.

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U.S. Pain is excited to announce a new program, Pediatric Pain Warriors, dedicated to serving kids with pain and their families. The program will consist of additional pediatric editions of the INvisible Project, pediatric-focused educational events like Take Control of Your Pain Days, support groups, weekend retreats, scholarships to attend a summer camp designed for kids with chronic conditions, and online resources.

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 U.S. Pain Foundation is proud to announce it will officially launch a Pediatric Pain Warrior Program in 2018.

“This program’s goal is to ensure that no child feels like he or she is fighting this journey alone,” says Paul Gileno, president and founder of U.S. Pain. “To do that, we will provide resources for the pain warrior as well as his or her family, offer support online as well as in-person, give families a safe and secure place to share stories, and keep the community up-to-date on events and awareness campaigns.”

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January was a busy month for some of U.S. Pain’s youngest pain warriors.

Jan. 11 marked the third annual Points for Pain fundraiser hosted by 14-year-old Tyler Cashman, director of pediatric fundraising and awareness, at Voorhees Regional High School in Glen Gardner, NJ.  The event, which consisted of a bake sale, raffles, and a varsity girls basketball game, has raised more than $4,500 and counting. Cashman spoke and shared the pediatric edition of the INvisible Project project to a packed gym. All of the funds raised from this event go towards U.S. Pain’s Pediatric Pain Warrior Program.

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Camp attendees with their certificates.

Ages: 4-17 years old

Location: All over the country

Pain warrior role: Third Annual Pediatric Pain Camp attendees

Pain conditions: Attendees have a wide range of conditions that cause chronic pain, from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, to migraine disease, to gastroparesis, to postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

Favorite tips for living with chronic pain: “I distract myself during the worst times, using my tablet, TV or doing an art project,” – Sawyer Horcher; “Just being around other kids my age that know the feeling of this situation that we’re all in,” – Dennis Alden. “During those times when the pain gets so bad I drown myself in my music,” – Jordan Johnston.

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Ty Cashman, U.S. Pain’s director of Pediatric Fundraising, has been getting a lot of attention thanks to his much-deserved recognition from the Yankees during HOPE Week in June. Most recently, Cashman was highlighted in a short documentary about Points for Pain that aired last month on the YES Network, and can be seen here.

But Cashman’s goal isn’t accolades: it’s raising more funding for pediatric pain warriors. That’s why he’s encouraging other kids to get involved and host their own Points for Pain games.

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