PEI

Young brothers help lead walk against arthritis

Two young boys helped raise about $16,000 in Charlottetown Sunday as part the Walk to Fight Arthritis.

Participation in arthritis walk doubles in Charlottetown

Mary Ann O'Halloran with her sons Jacob and Logan MacDonald at the Walk to Fight Arthritis in Charlottetown. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Two young boys helped raise about $16,000 in Charlottetown Sunday as part the Walk to Fight Arthritis.

Eight-year-old Jacob MacDonald and his six-year-old brother Logan both have arthritis.

It wasn't something their mother, Mary Ann O'Halloran, used to talk about a lot.

"As I talked to more moms who had children with arthritis it helped me. And in turn I felt if that would help me maybe it would help to share, and it did," said O'Halloran.

"Now I have two children with it, so I just thought OK, we're really going to go full force with this. We're going to get out there and do what we can to make awareness, fundraise." 

No known cause or cure

The two brothers have juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a non-hereditary, auto-immune disease that affects about one in 1,000 children. There is no known cause, and there is no cure.

It's kind of hard for other people to understand because they may not see what's happening on the inside.- Mary Ann O'Halloran

More than 150 people joined the walk in Charlottetown, about twice as many as last year. The walk was part of a national event.

O'Halloran said dealing with arthritis can be difficult for children, because it's an invisible condition.

"It's an internal thing. You can't visually see it on the outside unless he's having a really bad flare up or he's limping or not able to move around and walk," she said.

"It's kind of hard for other people to understand because they may not see what's happening on the inside."

O'Halloran is hoping for a cure so her sons can play a full game of hockey or ride their bikes as long as they want without arthritis slowing them down.

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan

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