The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children’s Arthritis Foundation (the “Foundation”) was founded in September 2009 by Jeffrey Gottfurcht. Eight years ago at the age of 27, Jeffrey was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He had periodically experienced swollen fingers and wrists and had stiff joints throughout his late teens and early 20’s but thought these were merely an allergic reactions. Finally, a Rheumatoid Arthritis specialist at Stanford confirmed the diagnosis. In 2009, Jeffrey’s symptoms significantly advanced and he learned that he would be functionally immobile within a few years. An avid mountain climber, Jeffrey decided he could not just give in and with a can-do attitude committed to training for and climbing Mount Everest in 2010, thereby fulfilling his number 1 dream. Jeffrey wanted to share his determination to fight Rheumatoid Arthritis and bring joy, strength and support to others afflicted with this lifelong disease. Jeffrey chose to focus on fulfilling the dreams of children suffering from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis because as a father of 3, he understands the importance of creating positive memories in a child’s life. The Foundation hopes to inspire, educate and generate awareness while those suffering with this lifelong disease optimistically await a cure.
The Foundation’s mandate is to fulfill the dreams of children afflicted with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Referrals for dreams will come from parents, guardians, members of the medical community, support-related websites and children suffering from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Foundation’s Dream Team will select the dreams that are prudent and possible to make a reality. The Foundation’s president will visit the child and present the dream come true. Wishes should fall under the following categories: 1) “I wish I could go…”, 2) “I wish I could meet…”, 3) “I wish to be…”, and 4) “I wish to have…”.