For 13-year-old Anya Nelsestuen being able to walk her dog is a task she doesn’t take for granted.
“She was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at age six,” said Anya’s mom, Beaty. “I had no idea kids can get arthritis until it happened.”
Anya has arthritis in several parts of her body, she says it’s a constant fight.
“The most common is throbbing and pain in my knee,” said Anya.
At one point the pain became too much and big changes had to be made. Now, Anya is taking online classes while continuing treatment, which isn’t easy.
“The first course of treatment was steroid injections into her joints, then we went on some pills, and then she had to take shots, twice a week, and then we switched to monthly infusion,” said Beaty.
One in four Americans has arthritis and two-thirds of them are under the age of 65.
However, Anya and her family don’t let this disease define them.
“If you’re focusing on it all day, every day it’s going to be worse,” said Anya.
On Sunday, she will be the youth honoree at the ‘Walk to Cure Arthritis’ in Colorado Springs. This is the first year the walk will come to the Pikes Peak Region.
The walk will take place this Sunday, June 2 at 9:30 at America the Beautiful Park.
All proceeds will support the Arthritis Foundation in helping the 54 million Americans living with arthritis.
To sign-up, click on this link.