Fifty million people in the United States live with the pain of arthritis. Many of those are kids.

Since a bout of the common virus, Epstein-Barr, caused her immune system to start attacking her joints, University of Arizona college student, Ashley Lancaster has had arthritis.

According to the Mayo clinic, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can cause persistent pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, as is the case for Ashley. For others, it may even lead to other more serious complications such as eye inflammation.

To help young people like Ashley cope with a chronic inflammatory illness and still be able to attend school, the Tucson Arthritis Support League offers scholarships to promising college students.

Since 1987, TASL has given out more than $140,000 in funding. The money comes from an annual fundraiser, which will be held this year at the Skyline Country Club on April 20.

Ashley, who is studying to be an optical scientist, says JRA mostly affects her hands, which can make note and test taking difficult. She is usually in some level of pain, but is in the process of trying different diet, sleep and medication regimens to help lesson the impacts of her disease.

For attend the fundraiser or to learn more about TASL and its activities, call 520-324-1053.