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Meet Cassidy Middleton
In December 2013, Cassidy was diagnosed with autism, and that’s when the Middleton family’s world changed. Most weeks were filled with therapists and appointments, and just when things started to settle down, Cassidy’s mother, Kari, noticed Cassidy was a “bit knock-kneed” and “walking funny” for a 3-year-old. After consulting with their pediatrician, who referred the family to a pediatric rheumatologist, Cassidy was diagnosed withjuvenile arthritis (JA).Continue readingNo One Should Be in Debilitating Pain, Especially at 8 Years Old
Among patient partners who reviewedArthritis by the Numbers– a collection of verified arthritis facts and figures – was the Soler family of Georgia. Robin Soler has been active with the Arthritis Foundation ever since her younger daughter, Isabela, was diagnosed withjuvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). At the time she was one of the youngest children in the state to be diagnosed with JIA at just 12 months old.
Over the past 15 years, mother and daughter have seen about 50 different doctors and scores of other medical experts. Isabela has taken at least 20 different types of prescription drugs – consuming more than 15,000 pills in her lifetime, not including antibiotics and other normal childhood drugs. She has missed countless parties and playdates, and one recent semester had to skip 7thperiod 21 times for doctor’s appointments.
Isabela’s mother, Robin, is a developmental psychologist and senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Robin has had her own personal experience with arthritis, diagnosed withfibromyalgiawhen she was 26, though herchronic paingoes back to her mid-teens.
After reviewing arthritis statistics we’ve collected, Robin’s main takeaway: “I am happy to know there is information out there, but I’m concerned about the pictures the numbers paint for parents. We and our children need to be hopeful.”
Continue readingJA Mom: “I Know Just Enough to Know I Don’t Know Enough.”
Joy is something that we feel robbed of when dealing with everyday symptoms ofrheumatoid arthritis (RA)and doctor appointments. When I first developed RA, I felt lonely and isolated. I couldn’t do things I used to do that brought me joy, especially during the holidays, like attend parties, drink or even be on my feet for long. Connecting with people on social media expanded my horizons about ways to find joy. Now, I send people positive messages to bring them joy, which also makes me happy. I’ve sent so many of these that now I receive them, too, when I least expect it. I’ve even gotten videos of people from across the country singing happy birthday to me. I am still participating in society, I just do it a little differently than others. I might not be somewhere in person, but when I send some simple words spreading joy, people know they are in my heart and mind.
Facebook @Through the Eyes of Joy
YouTube @Joy Ross
I have always been a joyful person, but my complete loss of eyesight as a result ofjuvenile arthritis [JA]and my two young daughters’ diagnoses with JA, I have learned that joy is a choice. As a Christian woman of faith, I allowed God to teach me how to truly walk by faith and not by sight or on pure emotions. God began showing me the true meaning of joy even when the circumstances looked hopeless. Every single day I make the choice to begin the day on a joyful note. My story of hope, perseverance and love is changing lives all over the world! If it were not for our challenges and my faith in Jesus, I wouldn’t have this beautiful perspective. I believe when you choose joy, you find strength, hope and purpose.
感恩是放慢脚步，去真正注意到快乐、美丽、有趣和美好的事情。它是关于经历而不是事物， 记住我是一个幸运的女人。This is easierduring the holidays, when reminders of love and all we have to be thankful for are all around, but I try to practice gratitude every day. Taking note of positive things andtalking to positive peoplehelp. Going out with my camera to capture the beauty of the world always makes me feel better, and there’s nothing like sitting quietly with a purring cat on my lap to appreciate the present. Life isn’t about perfection or about stuff, but about love. Finding a way to express that – toward others, toward myself – is at the center of how I cultivate gratitude.
Charcandrick West, professional football player with Louisiana roots, gets real about what keeps him going, how no hurdle is too high and why he likes to win on and off the field.
Q1: When did you realize you wanted to play football professionally?
I knew that I had the “it” factor – and my parents believed in me, too, which made all the difference in the world. My goal was to leave my legacy in my hometown of Cullen, Louisiana, and graduate to the “bigs.”
Continue readingEvery Catch Deserves a Touchdown Dance
The doctor’s prognosis was gloomy. “You should put your daughter in a wheelchair now, so she can adapt to being disabled,” he told Anna Legassie’s mother. Anna, 11 at the time, had just been diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (SJRA, known today assystemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis).
Now 34, Anna recalls those words often. Like on that hot summer day in 2015 when she crossed the finish line of her first Spartan Race, a grueling five-mile dash that involved climbing walls, crawling through mud and overcoming other obstacles. A fitting metaphor for a woman who hasn’t let the challenges of arthritis stop her from living a full life.
Continue readingAnna Legassie: Still in the Race
From Kate Wingate
My name is Kate Wingate and I’m from Greensboro, North Carolina. On the outside, I look like a normal 13-year-old girl, but I havejuvenile arthritis (JA). Arthritis is a disease that doesn’t present in a way that you might think, and unless I’m having a flare, no one would ever know. I’ve had JA since I was 18-months-old, so I can’t remember what it feels like to not have pain in my joints.
Continue readingKate Wingate, Jingle Bell Run National Youth Honoree
Charcandrick West hasjuvenile arthritis. Now he’s dodging tackles in the NFL.
It’s a scene fans of the Kansas City Chiefs football team know well: Charcandrick West crashes into a tackler, spins and breaks free, then shifts into high gear as he races downfield. Yet Charcandrick, now in his fourth season as a running back for the Chiefs, never forgets that he has faced a more challenging opponent:systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA). It appeared at age 14, and symptoms became so severe that one doctor predicted the teen might never walk again, much less play football.
Continue readingUnstoppable: Charcandrick West’s Story
American chefs Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Bridges invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1938 and served them as a sweet snack and dessert at the Toll House Inn in Whitman Massachusetts. Little did they know the impact their invention would have on a little girl from Greensboro, North Carolina some 67 years later.
Continue readingThe Secret Power of Chocolate Chip Cookies
Juvenile arthritis awarenessis in high gear – with Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month and two JA Conferences being held between July and August, this is the perfect time for director Aisling Walsh’s movie “Maudie” to hit theaters in most major markets.
Continue reading“Maudie” Stuns and Inspires Audiences
玛丽亚·阿基诺-特拉斯(Mariah Aquino-Truss)只有五岁的时候，每天都非常痛苦，她告诉妈妈托里(Tory)，她“不想再待在这里了”。Imagine hearing such an admission from your young daughter who was newly diagnosed with a form ofjuvenile arthritis(JA) known as polyarticular spondyloarthropathy.
Polyarticular spondyloarthropathy is a juvenile form ofankylosing spondylitis一种影响关节、韧带、肌腱和肌腱的慢性、长期疾病。托里感到震惊，感到悲伤，并下定决心要帮助玛丽亚和她的家人，她开始寻求帮助——这条路把她带到了关节炎基金会。
Continue readingA Dream Come True – Meet Our 2017 National Youth Honoree Mariah Aquino-Truss