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This Christmas, we want to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support.

Anyone can get arthritis, including babies and toddlers, and the challenges of this can affect the whole family. As we approach the joyous celebration of Christmas and New Year, we urge you to come forward and support more families in need.

Ethan wants to share his story of living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Diagnosed when he was just two and a half years old, it affected his ankles, knees, elbows, and hips. Ethan has experienced various challenges, including ongoing pain, not being able to play sport, had trouble making friends, with some children thinking that his condition was contagious and kids who teased him for not being able to run fast.

Despite all that he’s been through, Ethan, now 14, refuses to let his condition slow him down and is determined to succeed. He taught himself to rise above the bullies and “be a bigger person”. He learned to manage his pain moving as much as possible, taking some medication and using crutches and a wheelchair. He has made more friends and is now thriving.

Ethan encourages others with juvenile arthritis to talk about and share their situation as much as possible. “It’s not something you should have to go through alone.”

He also calls for greater public acceptance and compassion. “Even if the person doesn’t look sick, arthritis is an invisible disease and you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover… try and be nice to them, they’re going through a lot.”

He says meeting other children through Arthritis SA helped him cope with his situation. “Arthritis SA provided me a lot of opportunities to meet other kids with arthritis. I could find someone I could relate to and feel more normal.”

This Christmas, please donate to Arthritis SA to enable us to provide support and advocate for children like Ethan in South Australia. Any donation over $2 is tax deductible. It will help fund services and activities at Arthritis SA including for children living with juvenile arthritis.

Watch an Interview with Ethan here

Every donation over $2 is tax-deductible.

© 2021 Arthritis South Australia Charity Licence No: CCP2463 ABN 53 784 654 861