When we think of arthritis, we usually associate it with getting older. But about 300,000 children suffer from some sort of juvenile arthritis.
To raise awareness, the Arthritis Foundation hosted their annual Jingle Bell Run at Camp Mabry Sunday afternoon.
One of those participating is Jack Goforth’s family. The 10-year-old was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at only 5 years old.
"We had been out at SeaWorld and noticed that his knee was swollen,” said his mother, Julie Goforth. “That caused some concern."
Jack's spent years getting steroid injections and MRIs. The arthritis has now spread to his jaw, with pain sometimes creeping up in the mornings.
"It feels like sometimes you feel like your knees just hurt and you just want to sit down for an hour or two,” said Jack.
Juvenile arthritis can include several rheumatic diseases in children. Symptoms include complaining of joint pain in the morning or after a nap, stiff joints, swelling and fever.
Jack's journey hasn't been easy, and his future is unclear.
"He could at any moment go into life-long remission or it could worsen over time as he becomes an adult,” said Julie, who adds that daily pain relief medications help.
The Arthritis Foundation has a lot of useful information for those dealing with arthritis, including advice on self management and finding a physician in your area.
For more information on the Arthritis Foundation, click here.