Heartwarming story about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Erin Madden reports in the Winnipeg Free Press that twelve-year-old Colin Johnson has had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since he was a toddler. The point of the article is not only to talk about how much Colin has suffered with his disease, and his bravery to do so, but that he is a volunteer for the Manitoba Arthritis Association in preparation for a May 15th “Walk to Fight Arthritis.” Moreover, Colin has influenced his school to undertake a virtual walk for arthritis, something he hopes other schools will do because it would teach children how important volunteerism is to communities.

For example, the article states:

Each and every day, Colin Johnson is forced to deal with the pain of swollen joints and stiffness that comes from having juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The disease prohibits Colin from doing some of the things he would like to do, which is especially tough considering he is just 12 years old. Diagnosed at just 19 months old, Colin’s dealing with the disease has always been a way of life.

But he’s hoping it doesn’t always have to be this way. That’s why Colin became a volunteer with the Arthritis Society of Manitoba.

‘When I was two, I got splints on my arms and legs. When I was in kindergarten and Grade 1, I had surgery done on my knees to help deal with the inflammation. I had to take lots of medicine and I had to use a walker. One time, it was so bad we had to take a wheelchair to the mall,’ Colin said, speaking of why he hopes he can be a part of finding a cure.

The sixth grader was recruited by the arthritis society after he was featured in a local newspaper story for his musical accomplishments.

This year, Colin will serve as the ambassador for the non-profit’s fundraising walk, The Walk to Fight Arthritis, on May 15 at Assiniboine Park. His story and voice are featured in public-service announcements for the event and Colin has spent time distributing information and educational materials at public events to help promote it.”

Check the link for the rest of the story.

Commentary: I posted this story for a couple of reasons. First, I published it in memory of my mother who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for the latter part of her life, actually requiring she retire from the federal civil service in her mid 50s because she had no use of her hands. I also published it because it shows that there are many types of special needs that require special services and public funding from our education and health care systems — something some parent advocacy groups seem to forget.

4 thoughts on “Heartwarming story about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

    • Thanks everyone. We are all renewed after last night. I was a nervous wreck when the number kept going between 144 and 148. Then, it finally jumped to 156 and I literally shouted “YES.”

      Cassie — I felt the same as you re the constant drip of negativity but I also knew there would be a vote split in Ontario. When I worked for the PC’s that is exactly what happened. The provincial Liberal and NDP vote split. I hope the same thing happens for Tim Hudak PCs in October as well.

      Never complain? T’is not in our nature Cassie and that’s okay. LOL

      We are all enjoying the euphoria and that’s okay too.

      I have gotten a few sour grapes comments this morning that went immediately to trash.

      On a related topic, I could not believe Ignatieff’s resignation speech. It was one of the worst I have ever heard. He just doesn’t get it that he and his party are the problem. He is a narcissist and sees only his own point of view. The best I ever heard came from John McCain after Obama won. What Ignatieff should have said is that the “people are never wrong” and “that we will learn from our mistakes.” But, no, project the blame on the ads. All those ads he complains against were in his own voice and his own words. Moreover, he simply doesn’t understand the depth of Canadians’ anger over the Sponsorship Scandal. He wasn’t here and therein lies another problem.

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      • Cassie — I got mixed up with the threads. My apologies. I only just now realized you were referring to never complaining when you read about Colin Johnson. So, my comments about last night’s election victory should have been on today’s thread.

        Oh well, too much excitement! 😉

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  1. Under the pressure over the weekend, your nerves seem just fine to me! It was a nail biter. I watched clips of the wedding over and over again. When I saw the number go over the top I remembered your projected. Figures stay with me, common names I’m forgetting. oh boy.

    It’s nothing but relief, Sandy. Enjoy the relief. I’m honoured to know you all. The bullying has ended. A very smart man, bright star put an end to it and it’s OVER. But, now the work really begins in terms of renew, renew, rebuild.

    From the Wedding
    Romans 12: 1,2 – 12-18

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