If I randomly said the word “arthritis” to someone, they would most likely conjure up an image of a grandparent complaining about achy joints. I for one used to always think of grandma Petrillo from the Golden Girls and that awful, menthol, medicinal scent of joint creams like icy hot.
Most people don’t hear the word “arthritis” and think of a twenty something person like myself. Or worse yet, a small child. Did you know that there are approximately 300,000 kids in the US who have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis? In fact, there are lots of these kids who spend most of their childhood in and out of hospitals. Many of them occupy their summers healing from joint replacement surgery and spend what would be there after school playtime getting medical infusions at their doctor’s office.
There is no cure for arthritis just as there is no sound theory as to why people get the many forms of arthritis. Some evidence indicates that getting arthritis may be linked to hereditary causes while some research points to environmental factors.
Wonderful organizations like the Arthritis National Research Foundation are working towards completely eliminating arthritis someday. The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) actually funds scientists to cure arthritis by discovering the causes of arthritis and its related diseases including osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune diseases. In addition to funding scientific programs, this organization also runs community focused programs that help generate awareness for all of the different forms of arthritis like the ones that affect kids.
View the video below to meet a little girl named Bailey who is the ANRF’s hero. Children like Bailey give me the inspiration to keep writing and sharing the stories of everyone affected by arthritis.
God bless children like Bailey. Words cannot describe how much my heart goes out to this little girl and her family.