Too young for arthritis

I discovered today that a member of our family has arthritis, aged 10. This is very difficult to comprehend not only because she is a child but because she is one of the most active children I know. She loves climbing, swimming in the sea, camping and the great outdoors, so it is an even greater tragedy that she has a problem that will hamper all the things she loves to do.

She first had it as a baby, I didn’t know this was possible. Her parents are obviously distraught and I desperately want to see them, despite the many miles they live from us, just to give them support and for their daughter and mine to play just like they used to show that life goes on.

I visited the website Arthritis Care and it has some really good information and advice for children and parents as well as films and articles about people who have been diagnosed in their toddler years, in primary school and in their teens. The site says that it is important children lead an active life and that parents aren’t too overprotective, Swimming is a particularly good exercise for kids as well as adults and the elderly as it helps to keep the joints moving with little or no stress on the joints. I know from experience of a wonky shoulder and collarbone that swimming helps to free off the stiffness that accumulates particularly as the weather gets colder.

However despite all this positive advice and optimism, it is unfair that a chid should have to grow up with enduring arthritic pain and I hope for my relative’s sake that it is both mild, manageable and infrequent so that she can continue being the fun-loving outdoorsy girl that she is.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. If you can help with the campaign visit my Unicef page.

Thanks for reading.

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