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Rheumatism Patient Initiates Concert Against Rheumatism With Self-Made Violins

Posted April 29, 2015

As a result of rheumatism, amateur violinist Joke Bleumink was no longer able to play the violin and started to build violins. With two self-built violins, a viola and a cello, she has now initiated a unique concert.

 Joke Bleumink

Joke Bleumink

One of the many arthrosis patients in the Netherlands is Joke Bleumink. For years she played violin, but due to her rheumatism it was no longer possible for her to continue to play the instrument. Instead, she decided to build violins. “You want to play a piece of music in its entirety, but you can stop building a violin whenever you want and continue later on.” Bleumink wanted to do something special with her self-built violins and decided to organize a benefit concert for rheumatism. She looked for a good cause that she wanted to make an effort for and found this with Marcel Karperien and his team.


Karperien is developing the injectable plaster against arthrosis, which enables damaged cartilage in the joint to recover. When the cartilage recovers, pain and disability due to arthrosis diminish. This can be the solution for millions of people both nationally and internationally. By injecting an injectable gel into the joint, the damaged cartilage surface is filled and further corrosion of the cartilage prevented. Karperien’s research is at an advanced stage. It has been shown that the method works in mice, but further research is needed to bring the arthrosis plaster to the patient. Some seven million euros are still needed for this. “Joke Bleumink is contributing towards this in a very special way; I am honoured that she has chosen my research for her good cause,” says Karperien.


In the Netherlands, more than one million people suffer from chronic cartilage diseases such as arthrosis, which leads to a deterioration or even complete loss of joint cartilage. The result is that joints swell, become itchy and painful due to activity. Day after day, patients are confronted with restrictions to their mobility. “Still too often, GPs encourage their patients to just accept arthrosis. Accept it, it’s part of the aging process”, says Karperien. “We want this to change. Mobility is an essential part of the quality of life.”

Source: University of Twente

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