Since age five, Annie Samson, a Branford eighth grader, has been living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). According to Kidshealth.org, JIA affects about 50,000 U.S. children. It is categorized as an autoimmune disease and is very different from adult rheumatoid arthritis, the site states.
This holiday season, Annie’s mom Mary Samson said her daughter has assembled a team – including 11-year-old sister Cara Samson – to make and sell angel seashells to support Annie's Angels Team and ultimately the Arthritis Foundation.
Annie’s Angel Shells, $3, will be sold at St. Mary’s School at the Ladies Guild Annual Christmas Bazaar on Dec. 1 and then at St. Mary’s on Dec. 9 during their Breakfast with Santa.
The shells are perfect holiday gifts, said Mary, and make great tree ornaments.
Of her daughter’s plight, Mary said, “It has been a long, hard battle.” Annie currently goes to the hospital every five weeks for a Remicade infusion, which seems to work, said mom.
Annie's Angels has participated in the Southern Connecticut Arthritis Walk for the past two years and first sold the angel shells at the Owenego Inn for Mother’s Day, 2012, said Mary.