Cochrane teen says juvenile arthritis manageable with diagnosis, treatment

It's a condition that some people associate with older people, but children and teenagers can get arthritis too.

Childhood Arthritis Awareness Month has one teen sharing his story

Jarad Hauck says juvenile arthritis is not the end of the world 1:23

It's a condition that some people associate with older people, but children and teenagers can get arthritis too.

March is Childhood Arthritis Awareness Month.

17-year-old Jarad Hauck of Cochrane gets his fingers stretched by his doctor, regularly.

"I have it on my fingers, my shoulders, my hips, my knees, my ankles," Hauck said.

Jarad Hauck, left, talks with Dr. Nicole Johnson at the Alberta Children's Hospital about treatment options for his juvenile arthritis. (CBC)

Appointments like these have become routine in the six years since he was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

"I went from being fairly active and like a normal kid, to having to come to the hospital regularly."

Hauck has a checkup with Dr. Nicole Johnson at the Alberta Children's Hospital every three months.

And he's not the only one.

More than 60,000 Canadian children and teenagers have arthritis.

Johnson says it affects everyone differently.

Jarad Hauck, 17, was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis about 6 years ago. He says with treatment it is manageable. (CBC)

"We do know that with the younger the kids are, maybe they're not yet talking, so you'd have to be mindful of swollen joints, like if the knee is suddenly big or the other side isn't.

Hauck wants other kids with arthritis to know it's not the end of the world.

Dr. Nicole Johnson of the Alberta Children's Hospital says diagnosis is key when dealing with juvenile arthritis. (CBC)

He's the captain of his school volleyball team this year and he goes skiing every weekend.

"I am fairly active," he says.

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