2019 Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees

Kellen Sullivan
Juvenile Arthritis
Youth Honoree

When Kellen was eight years old, he was very active and athletic, and by all measures, a healthy and sports-centric child.

Then he got two tick bites.  He was tested many times in many ways for lyme disease. However, during the summer of 2016 he fatigued easily and his legs were sore. His mom knew there was something wrong and went to extremes to detect it. 

Kellen played baseball in the spring of 2017 until he “rolled his ankle.” We thought he had a sprain. The “sprain” never healed. Then, Kellen got an appointment with the pediatric rheumatologist. It was on the last day of school. Instead of eating ice cream and going to the lake with his friends, he was told he had juvenile arthritis. The doctor said “you have a disabled child.” This was jarring news.

The doctor believes that the undetected lyme disease unlocked the JIA disease.  Kellen’s body rally against him.  Kellen went through a lot of trial and error in treatments. Most of the summer of 2017 was spent on the couch. The sun hurt his eyes and walking was difficult. As time went on, he had glimmers of hope, but mainly the inflammation from this disease continued and his hopes diminished. Depression was setting in. Something had to be done. One of his doctors asked him what he dreamed about. He dreamed of running. At the time, he struggled to walk on most days.

In April 2018 he was placed on biologics. This treatment has literally changed his life. His inflammation was reduced 500%.  A year ago, he could not walk or even crawl to the bathroom. He was stuck in a wheelchair. Now, in April 2019, he is playing baseball again. It is a true miracle. 

Spread the Word!