As told by Kids Get Arthritis Too
Hannah lived with severe pain in her ankles and knees for 5 years before finally being diagnosed with arthritis in 2007. “I have enthesitis – an inflammation of the entheses, the location where a bone has junction to a tendon or a ligament – usually found in school-aged children.”
Now, at 14, Hannah describes herself as “pretty much a normal kid, just a little different.” She enjoys “hanging out” with a host of friends who support her, as well as activities like singing, playing piano, drawing and writing.
Hannah is looking forward to serving as ambassador of the 2009 Jingle Bell Run & Walk in Seattle. “Supporting people with arthritis is very important to me, and the Run raises awareness and shows that people with arthritis can do what everyone else can do,” she says.
“I hope to teach others that arthritis can affect anyone,” says Hannah. It makes me proud and happy to know that I am helping raise arthritis awareness.”
Kelsey Birnbaum, development manager for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, applauds Hannah’s enthusiasm. “It is because of courageous and determined individuals like Hannah that we are able to increase awareness and raise money which will fund the research that will lead to a cure,” she says.
Copyright 2010, Arthritis Foundation. Adapted with permission from Kids Get Arthritis Too, 2009.