About 200 children and their families recently traveled to Washington D.C.where they spoke with their Congressional representatives about the impact of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Jamie Navarette from Omaha made the trip. She was diagnosed when she was 18 years of age.
“It came to the point I was in pain constantly. Lethargic. Couldn’t get out of bed. Couldn’t walk. I had to decide should I drop out of college and go home to find out what is wrong with me or do I go to the doctor. After months of miss-diagnosis, I was recommended to an oncologist where they told me I had rheumatoid arthritis.”
Navarette, who is now 28 years of age states arthritis, has changed her life but it also helped her determine what she wants to do with her future.
“Currently, I am a librarian but it has given me a focus on what I want to do and that is to advocate for people who have chronic conditions due to no fault of their own. They need our leadership.”
Thousands of children develop juvenile arthritis with symptoms that range from limping and slight flare-ups to more severe reactions.