Lianne – Diagnosed with JIA

Q: In what city/province do you live in?

A: I live in Ottawa, Ontario.


Q: How old were you when you were first diagnosed with JIA?  How old are you now?  What grade are you in at school?

A: I was first diagnosed at twelve years old.  I am currently sixteen and in grade eleven.


Q: What kind of physical activities or sports do you like to take part in?

A: I like to do yoga and walking.  When I feel well enough, I’ll take part in a spinning class or go swimming.


Q: Tell us how having arthritis affects your ability to be physically active or do sports.  What motivates you to try to take part in some physical activity or sports on days that you don’t feel like it?  What motivates you to be active on days that you don’t feel like it?

A: Having arthritis sometimes makes me think twice about partaking in physical activities.  The pain I face everyday makes it difficult to get active and off the couch.  I find motivation in the fact that getting outside and being active will actually help me feel better in the long run and it’s useless to my condition to just sit around!

Q: Why do you think it is important for kids/youth/teens with arthritis to be physically active?

A: Being physically active is actually really helpful for alleviating the really unpleasant symptoms of arthritis.  Unfortunately, it can be pretty hard when you’re pinned down to the couch or bed with lethargy!  The first step is literally just taking that step off the couch and out of bed.  Getting moving seems like the last thing you want to do when you’re in pain and stiff, but it really should be the first!

Q: What advice would you give to other kids/youth/teens with arthritis who might find it hard to take part in physical activity?

A: My advice to other kids would be to start slow and keep going at your own pace.  I like to bring a friend with me to keep me motivated and encourage me.  Make sure that your friend understands your condition and will help you to get active without pushing you too hard.

Other Comments:

It may seem hard now, but it eventually gets easier to move those joints that seem incurable.  Remember that while medication may not always fix you completely, you can control your own condition by putting effort into exercising!