World Autoimmune Arthritis Day

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day (WAAD) was established by International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis (IFAA), formerly known as the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement, in 2012 as an online, Virtual Convention, aimed to bring global awareness to these diseases in an attempt to differentiate arthritis types and to promote education and understanding.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day is designed to run virtually, online, so that resources from around the globe can be accessible to all people as well as to allow those with disabilities to 'attend' from the comfort of their homes or hospital beds. It is celebrated for the duration of May 20th in every time zone in the world, thus uniting all people for 47 hours, eliminating barriers of time in order to unite as one.

May 20th was selected because in 2012 this day marked the first solar eclipse of the century. An 'eclipse' occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. This was symbolic of the decades of misunderstanding of Autoimmune Arthritis diseases. Therefore, as the 47 continuous hours of WAAD 2012 began (May 19th at 6am ET/USA) so did the eclipse. At the end of the event (May 21st at 5am ET/USA) the sun would shine again but would shine a new light on the community.