Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
In her early teens Margaret Carey had complained about joint pain but because she was active in softball and cheerleading it was written off as growing pains - until a simple fall while roller-skating caused her knee to swell up. After months of tests and procedures to try to determine what was wrong, the mystery was solved. She had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
With the support of her parents, Margaret adjusted to a new lifestyle. She lived with the fear of an uncertain future, but “I was blessed to find an amazing rheumatologist, Dr. Richard Barone, who not only treated the physical challenges but also helped me work out the emotional and psychological challenges,” explains Margaret. Thanks to his guidance and the Arthritis Foundation’s support groups, she was able to maintain a positive outlook and focus on the things she could do instead of the things she couldn’t do. She earned a degree in computer science, and had a successful and fulfilling career. She married her college sweetheart, Peter who is a continual source of support and encouragement. They have three adult children. Margaret and her husband are the editors of a hyper-local digital publication named HamletHub.
People with arthritis may “look” perfectly fine but the pain, weakness and fatigue are real and challenging to everyday life. She maintains that a positive outlook, knowing your limitations and taking care of your health is the key to living with arthritis.
Margaret’s goal is to educate and promote awareness that arthritis affects people of all ages. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. Her hope is that a cure can be found so that no other child – or adult - will have to cope with this debilitating disease.