Cochrane teen says juvenile arthritis manageable with diagnosis, treatment
Childhood Arthritis Awareness Month has one teen sharing his story
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.
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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.
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.
"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.
He's the captain of his school volleyball team this year and he goes skiing every weekend.
"I am fairly active," he says.