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.”
Continue reading Champion of Yes: A Three Sport Athlete, Allison Alberts Charges Forward Through Arthritis Pain
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 reading The Secret Power of Chocolate Chip Cookies
Diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when she was four years old, Graci has endured multiple lab tests, biopsies, injections and medications. In spite of all that, she has often remained — in her mom’s words — outgoing, funny, athletic and honest. But during a particularly bad flare when she was seven years old, her parents saw a drastic change in their daughter.
“Graci’s knee, ankle and hip flared up, and she found herself struggling to walk and keep up with her classmates,” recalls Anna, Graci’s mother. “This left her in a wheelchair for a period of time. We could see her spirit starting to fade, and we could see her slipping into depression.”
Continue reading Go, Go, Go Graci! Graci Diggs Named 2015 National Youth Honoree for Jingle Bell Run/Walk