A Fight for Awareness

Yesterday, sitting in class, I got faced with the comment, "Arthritis, you have arthritis? I thought that was only for old people!" I feel like I have no right to get angry at this comment, as I once would have thought the same thing. Yet there I was, 20 years old, sitting through a college lecture, anger boiling on the inside. How is it that I've been struggling through the pain, the shots, the blood draws, for the last six years, and the majority of people my age don't even know that arthritis exists in people under the age of 65?
That is why I share my story. Sure, it's nice to vent, and it's nice to find others who struggle through the same pain. It's nice to fight for a cure, to fight to get better. But the most important fight, to me, is the fight for awareness. I fight so that people understand. I fight so that when others share their stories, they don't get faced with ignorant comments. I can handle the comments. I'm strong enough. But what about the 7 year old child who has to sit out in gym class because her joints just don't want to work that day? I fight for her. I fight for the student who can't make it to his class in the mornings. I fight for the girl who can't walk through the mall with her friends. I fight so that people understand the severity of the disease. I fight for awareness. I fight for us.

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