Arthritis As a Child

As a 5-year-old, I was worried about how I was going to get up out of my chair while my classmates were worried about which games to play at recess.

Life with juvenile idiopathic arthritis

As a year and a half old baby in diapers, I became crippled with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, as they called it back then. RA has impacted my whole life. I don't remember life without it.

As a kindergartner, I was able to empathize with my elderly neighbors about their arthritis pain. Some of them would ask me, as a 5-yr old, for advice about living with arthritis, Lol!

It has been a lifetime of surgeries, joint replacements, physical therapy, risky drugs like Cytoxin, steroids, crutches, leg braces, wheelchairs, and the like.

As an adult, my RA is actually better now than it was in my childhood. I do still have pain every day, and some days are better than others.

Glass half-full perspective with RA

I am truly grateful, though, for the compassion and patience this disease has taught me. Oh...and the perseverance.

My faith in Christ has given me the strength to endure each and every day. My parents were wonderful people who supported me every minute, and I am grateful for amazing doctors, one of whom presented my case to a conference of orthopedic doctors, so they could learn from it.

I am a cyber teacher now, but I have spent a lifetime studying and learning many valuable lessons from this disease. My advice to arthritis sufferers is to hang in there and persevere. New treatments are coming out all the time.

And your strength will inspire and encourage others......thank you for reading this.
Julianne Karas Brancadora, from Beaver, PAArthritis surgery at age 2

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