Juvenile Arthritis - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Juvenile Arthritis

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Running around like a typical eight-year-old girl, you would never know what Susanna Meyer goes through on a daily basis. She has to take quite a bit of medication. "Three pills at night and three pills in the morning," she counts in her head. “And I have to take three shots every week." It may seem daunting and overwhelming to manage, but the third grader does not let her recent diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis get her down.

It all started with a swollen knee. "It was a lot bigger and a lot warmer than everything and it hurt a lot more." Plus, Susanna’s elbow started locking up and her wrists hurt, too. She says even walking became a challenge. "My ankle was hurting so bad. My Dad had to carry me."

Susanna joins nearly 300,000 American children under the age of 18 with arthritis or other rheumatic conditions. Doctors say it is usually an auto-immune disorder and researchers really don't know why exactly it happens or what causes it. That is why Savannah and her mother, Lydia, joined other families - from all over the country in Washington, D.C. - to rally support from our elected leaders and more money for research – to help find a cure. Susanna loved touring our nation’s capital and meeting with politicians from Nevada. However, the best part was making new friends who can relate. “There was one girl who needed to get shots every day and another girl who traveled all the way from Alaska!” While there is no cure for juvenile arthritis, with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment - remission is possible. So Susanna is keeping her hopes high and encouraging others to do the same. "Stay positive and stay happy.”

To learn more about Juvenile Arthritis, log on to: http://www.arthritis.org/nevada/juvenile-arthritis/

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