Juvenile arthritis can't keep teen down - AmericaNowNews.com

Juvenile arthritis can't keep teen down

Fifteen-year old Sarah Windham looks like your typical teenager. She loves sports – specifically, baseball and volleyball. 

She works hard for her team, but she also works hard to speak out about a disease that has not slowed her down. 

Sarah lives with juvenile arthritis. 

"I feel like it made me a stronger person and I am able to teach other kids and inspire them to just keep going with life," she said. 

That same persistence and positive attitude has been something that Sarah's mom says she has carried from a very early age. 

Sarah was diagnosed when she was only 15 months old with arthritis after her mother noticed her limping when she would walk. 

Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the joints to swell. It also causes tenderness, pain and redness. 

"I took her to the doctor numerous times and every time I would take her, they would say she was ok," recalled Kathy Windham. 

Kathy's persistence paid off when she finally got an answer, but she did not know what it would mean for Sarah's future. 

"I never had a clue that kids could get arthritis," she said. 

"Juvenile arthritis is not a curable disease, but a treatable disease," explained Dr. Natasha Ruth, a pediatric rheumatologist at the Medical University of South Carolina. "Our goal is to first get these kids into remission, on medication, and then get them in remission off medication." 

Fast-forward many years later and Sarah is a happy, budding teen. And she's not letting arthritis keep her down. 

She's not only playing the game she loves… but winning. 

"Fulfill your dreams. Do what you want," she said. "It's not something that's going to get you back all the time."

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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