Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Kyree Jackson is 7 years old and lives in Phenix City, Alabama. When Kyrie was an infant, his suffering began around 4 months of age, with a swollen elbow, unexplained rashes and fevers that would not leave even after administering fever reducers. He would not extend his legs and would cry and scream with a high pitch as if he was in very serious pain. At 2 years old, his Pediatrician diagnosed him with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Kyree suffers from constant pain and stiffness in his joints and bones which doesn’t allow him to be as active as he would like.
He must wear Afo’s on his legs and has a leg length discrepancy. Kyree is a homeschooled student, which allows him to avoid many communicable diseases, extended exposure to sunlight (which can make him very sick) and to get plenty of rest throughout the day. If he overdoes it on any activity, it may cause a major set-back for him.
Thankfully, he has his nana to take good care of him and make sure he eats a healthy diet and avoids trigger foods such as chemically-based food dyes and meats, dairy and any food that contains high-fructose corn syrup.
When asked, “What do you think is most important for people to understand about arthritis?”, Kyree responded:
“Arthritis doesn’t discriminate, it affects people of all ages. There are many types of arthritis and it doesn’t just cause aches and pains. There are many foods I cannot eat, nights where my family and I cannot sleep and many things that I have to say no to, but other kids can say yes.”
Arthritis has affected Kyree’s vision, caused him to suffer from Periodic Fever Syndrome, and GI issues. Having JIA has affected not only Kyree but the livelihood of his family as well. They are participating in this year’s Jingle Bell Run to bring awareness and to let people see that there are real people suffering from these diseases.