Our discovery with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

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It has been a very interesting couple of months

Cat is now in the honeymoon phase of her Type 1 Diabetes, and so far she has been doing really well on it.

Cat’s new illness

This past week well month (Dec) has been CRAZY, Cat was diagnosed with type one diabetes on Dec 29. Before she photo(16)was diagnosed she got really sick. She was using the restroom a lot, drinking so much water and her vision got blurry three weeks before her DKA. She slept all the time, stayed home from school a lot. Turns out, she had diabetes in her system for a few months. But one thing triggered it, and that was an asthma attack. After that asthma attack she started showing all the symptoms. I took her to the MTF here in NOVA and later I took her to the ER, to get her checked out. I thought it was the flu, Instead, her blood sugar was over 675. Cat was in P-ICU at Children’s for 5 days. Her highest sugar during that period was over 700.

She stayed about a week out of school. She said it is hard trying to get used to the finger pricks, the shots, and the counting carbs. photo(17)We are both learning. I  tell her to don’t get discouraged and we have to learn to live with it.


The Ride Across the US

Summer is a time to relax for most people, but not for 21-year-old Joey Michels. The Fond du Lac man recently fulfilled a life-long goal to bike 4,000 miles across the United States.

Michels set out on his journey from the coast of California on June 1 with companions Matt Frintner and Nate Martin by his side. The goal was to complete the 4,000 mile journey at Portland, Maine.

The purpose of the ride was more than self-fulfillment. It was about raising funds and awareness of juvenile arthritis, a condition that Michels has lived with for most of his life. His ride was part of the Arthritis Foundation’s Joints in Motion program.

Michels was diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis when he was 3 years old and remembers a childhood filled with hospital visits, medication, IVs and pain. Soon after the diagnosis, his mother found the Arthritis Foundation and quickly became involved.

As an adult, Michels still has arthritis flares, but does not let them stop him.

“I want to share my story in hopes that it will inspire other kids with JA,” he said. “Even though it hurts and some days are worse than others, you cannot let it stop you.”

Throughout the journey, Michels inspired and educated many. In July, he visited the Juvenile Arthritis Conference in St. Louis to speak to families facing similar challenges.

“This journey, as much as it was for me, is more for kids and adults with arthritis,” he said. “I want to inspire people and show them that there is hope beyond their disease.”

A Welcome Home Celebration for Joey Michels is set Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Lakeside Park’s DeNevue Shelter (accessed by Winnebago Drive and Harbor View Drive). The celebration is open to the public and will include a short presentation.

July signifies the height of summer, but Support Our Arthritic Kids, Inc wants to remind everyone that it also represents Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.

Woodbridge, VA / July 03, 2012

While most Americans will be focused on barbeques and the beach for the 4th of July, over 294,000 children will continue their battle with a life altering disease, juvenile arthritis.

Most Americans do not know that over 294,000 U.S. children suffer from arthritis. This autoimmune disease is particularly dangerous in children because their immune systems are not yet mature. Most people think of old people having arthritis. An estimated 50 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from some form of arthritis, making it the leading cause of disability and missed time from work.

In the case of young sufferers, it means missed time from school, play and childhood pleasures that other children take for granted. It means time in the hospital for intravenous treatments. The juvenile forms of arthritis can seriously affect the eyes (a condition called uveitis) and other organ systems. Sadly, juvenile arthritis (JA) does not always stop at age 18-21. Many suffer the symptoms of JA throughout adulthood.

“Being a parent with a child who has juvenile arthritis is very hard but my daughter and the other children I have seen have been resilient,” says board president, Crystal Cavalier. “I know that we are raising awareness and supporting arthritis research and this research will one day alleviate the pain of arthritis.

Support Our Arthritic Kids Inc. is the charity that funds research to cure arthritis. To make a difference in the fight against juvenile arthritis, SOAK is establishing a special grant to foster research in this area. “The Cate Cavalier Award” is an annual grant given to a scientist in the Juvenile Arthritis Research field. Cate, in The Cavalier Award, is a youth ambassador, Catherine Cavalier, a young lady who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at age 8.

“My friends in school and many teachers’ don’t know kids get arthritis,” says Cavalier. “At Support Our Arthritic Kids, we help educate the community about these diseases that afflict young kids and older people. Supporting this research has never been more critical.”

Visit in http://www.supportourarthritickids.com and you, too, will be inspired. Make a difference and make a donation today!

Anette Nichols
Support Our Arthritic Kids, Inc


February 2012

Yesterday we went back to UNC Chapel Hill for Cat’s follow up. Great News, she doesn’t have lupus, and her kidney and liver functions are excellent! Also do to her monthly infections (like strep, or ear infections) they are putting her on every other week for enbrel injections! But still once a week for Methotrexate! Her arthritis hasn’t been active since May 2011, and it looks like a medial remission! YEAH!!! WOO HOOO!! Loving it! Her range of motion in her legs are coming back, and just a great diagnosis!

Well sorry it has been a while since we updated

Cat’s illness is up and down, she has her good days and her bad days. In August the doctor said her illness is in medical remission with drug therapy. However in September we got some bad news on her MRI, it shows she still has active arthritis in her jaws. She started to not want to take her injections. I tried to get a nurse from the doctor but she didn’t want to put in the request. SO I have been paying a nurse to come and give her injections. Which is getting costly. Other than that, Catherine is doing well she is growing up, and doing well in school, but it we pray everyday. I am afraid that my husband will get out of the military that her insurance will stop. My insurance won’t cover preexisting conditions. We are going to host a benefit for Catherine’s honor though.

*Just a note, I was giving Cat her injections but when she got sick in August and was off for about a month, she had a hard time with me giving the injections, I had been giving them to her for the past 2 years. I don’t know what happened, she got really nervous with the nurse, and we also had a therapist speak with her about her relaxation techniques. So that’s why I haven’t given them to her, it usually is about a hour process to get her to calm down and not move while I give her the injections.

December 2011

Well Catherine has started to not like her injections, I have been taking her to the pediatrician to get her injections. I did find a nurse to come to our house to give her the injections. She has been doing a lot better with them now. Methotrexate isn’t making her nauseous anymore.

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