You would never know by watching Kyle Elmore’s backhand shot that the 14-year-old athlete from Iowa has polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Kyle was diagnosed with JIA two years ago, but he decided that he was not going to let arthritis stop him from doing what he loves.
The Elmore family’s journey to a diagnosis was long and frustrating. “I remember experiencing a lot of pain in my knees and ankles, especially in the morning,” says Kyle. “My knees were so swollen that you couldn’t see my knee caps!”
Continue reading Iowa Teen with Arthritis is an Ace on and Off the Tennis Court
152. That’s the number of days Kristen McAllister, also known as Kmac, spent in the hospital in 2015. That’s 152 days out of school, away from friends and way out of her comfort zone. But, 152 days represents a mere fraction of the battle Kristen, now 21 years old, has been fighting since she was child.
At just 10 years old, Kristen faced her first surgery to remove rheumatoid nodules from her knee and hand. By the time she turned 11, Kristen had several painful joints, was often fatigued and dealt with unexplained fevers. A three-month course of antibiotics seemed to resolve her symptoms — temporarily.
“Kristen was doing so well for awhile that she made the middle school dance team as a rising sixth grader,” recalls Michele McAllister, Kristen’s mother. “We assumed her middle and high school years would always include dance team, competitive cheerleading, church activities and school clubs. But we were wrong.”
Another knee surgery relieved much of Kristen’s pain, but the fevers, joint aches and extreme fatigue returned. Like it is for many children, the road to diagnosis was a long and winding one.
Continue reading More than Just Aches and Pains – Kmac Fights her Biggest Battle with Arthritis Yet