Category Archives: Juvenile Arthritis

anna legassie walk to cure arthritis

Anna Legassie: Still in the Race

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 as systemic 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.

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kate wingate jbr youth honoree

Kate Wingate, Jingle Bell Run National Youth Honoree

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 have juvenile 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.

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charcandrick west

Unstoppable: Charcandrick West’s Story

Charcandrick West has juvenile 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.

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allison alberts jia wisconsin youth jbr honoree

Champion of Yes: A Three Sport Athlete, Allison Alberts Charges Forward Through Arthritis Pain

For 17-year-old Allison Alberts of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, waking up with pain is an everyday occurrence for her. Some days the pain is manageable and can be helped along by a hot shower or a run to loosen up her body. Other days, Allison might struggle to get out of bed and looks to her father, Jamie, to help her walk or give her joints a comforting massage.

“There are many days I wish I could be normal, let alone feel normal for a day – a day without any pain, “says Allison. “But complaining does nothing. Complaining won’t take away the pain and complaining won’t allow my fingers to look normal. The way I go about my day is to let my arthritis and my body know that they will not stop me.”

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2017 Walk to Cure Arthritis National Youth Honoree Mariah

A Dream Come True – Meet Our 2017 National Youth Honoree Mariah Aquino-Truss

When Mariah Aquino-Truss was just five years old, she was in so much pain each day she told her mom, Tory, that she “didn’t want to be here anymore.” Imagine hearing such an admission from your young daughter who was newly diagnosed with a form of juvenile arthritis (JA) known as polyarticular spondyloarthropathy.

Polyarticular spondyloarthropathy is a juvenile form of ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic, long term disease that affects the joints, ligaments, tendons and entheses. Shocked, saddened and ferociously determined to help Mariah and her family, Tory set out to find help – a road that led her to the Arthritis Foundation.
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Walk to Cure Arthritis Young Adult Honoree Kathryn Sundquist

Fundraising is a Family Endeavor for Kathryn Sundquist, Our 2017 Walk to Cure Arthritis National Young Adult Honoree

Kathryn Sundquist is 16 years old, lives in Brainerd, Minnesota and has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. To say she and her family live active lifestyles would be an understatement. Her mom enjoys yoga, running and participating in triathlons. Her dad is an avid biker. Her adult brothers enjoy 4-wheeling, hunting, fishing, and tennis. They all enjoy any reason to be outside!
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Amy and Kylie McCormick

Champions of Yes: Amy and Kylie McCormick Form a Dynamic Duo to Tackle Juvenile Arthritis

When you meet Amy McCormick and her daughter, Kylie, of Hauppauge, New York, you instantly feel as though you’ve known them for years. They both consistently greet you with warm smiles and joyful hellos, chatting about their love of Hamilton, the arts and their newly adopted rescue puppy named Autumn.
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Louisiana Walk To Cure Arthritis

Volunteer Kick-Starts Successful Louisiana Walk To Cure Arthritis Event

Born on July 4, Geoff and Sara Morthland called red-haired Ellery their “firecracker,” but at 19 months old, only Ellery’s knees were inflamed. They soon discovered the reason: juvenile arthritis (JA).

“I felt so powerless, Sara Morthland, Ellery’s mother, said. “I couldn’t make it go away.”

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana resident turned emotion into action and searched for a fundraiser supporting an arthritis cure. When she discovered Walk to Cure Arthritis, Sara was elated—only to learn Louisiana did not have a Walk.
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