1. It’s not your fault
The I in JIA stands for “idiopathic,” which means there is no known cause. While that means researchers are still figuring out what causes arthritis, it also means it’s not your fault. You didn’t get it from cracking your knuckles or eating too much fast food.
2. It’s not catching
You can’t give arthritis to someone you date or your friends on the swim team.
3. It’s not a total life-wrecker
Yes, you might have to get more creative with how you live your life and be stronger than some of your friends. Things may not always be easy. But as Caitlin R. says, “I’d tell other kids that have [JA] to always keep your head up. Someday they’re going to find a cure. So until then, keep your life going the way you want it to and you can find a way around obstacles in your life.” You can do it. Others like Jordan S. (a football team captain) and Megan C. (a marathon runner) certainly have!
4. It’s not a death sentence
There are diseases that can be life-threatening. Arthritis is not one of them. The good news is it’s unlikely to shorten your life or make you age faster.