My Story

Well My name is Candice, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 7. We thought it was growing pains for about 4 years before it was actually caught as Arthritis. I spent the younger years of my life going in and out of Therphy Facilities. At age 16 I was diagnosed with having Fibromyalgia. I’m currently on Enbrel and Methotrexate Injections to help maintain my Arthritis and Fibrmyalgia so I can live a some what normal life. I’ve had numerous joint injections, have been on numerous prescriptions and have even had joint replacements done on my left hand knuckles.

Hi Candice,

I just wanted to say that i think your a real fighter. Well done. Good luck. Remember to never give up. Always keep a positive mental attitude and you will get through anything.

I dont know much about juvenile arthritis, but ive suffered from arthritis in my ankle. I avoided using prescribed medication, and relied on changing my lifestyle to help me. It has done me alot of good. Not sure just how beneficial it would be for you.

I just wanted to wish you well.

Best Wishes


You are my hero you have been through so much and so young. I was just diagnosed six months ago

Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate them. It’s really painful sometimes. Marsha I wish you the best of luck. Hopefully they caught yours early on so they can begin treatment to stop any more damage from happening. Michelle thanks but we’ve tried that route and it failed, the only route for me is medications.

Hi Candice,

I've had rheumatoid since 1984, but I was diagnosed at 24.  I can only imagine what it would be like growing up with it. I have a daughter who's 20, who's very helpful to me as I am sure your parents and family are. I have also been on most medications which work temporarily for me (my dr. says my case is rather stubborn) and I to tried the natural approach early on.  Unfortunately the disease progressed drastically while I was on the natural approach. 

You seem very possitive and that's the best way to approach rheumatoid.  I'm sure you've already learned more coping skills than I have (for yourself and those around you).  Remember to do your range of motion exercises, get lost of rest,  keep learning, be as active as possible and keep smiling.

Thank you for the Response I appreciate it.

 I have tried the natural approach, I've tried the herbal route thinking it would help but in the end it made things worse.

Because they thought I had growing pains for the first 4 years of having the Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis it spread everywhere in my body before it was caught.

They basically said the only thing to do was to stop it from more damage but alot of damage had already been done.

I've gone through my years of treatment and being in and out of the hospital for therphys and they have basically told me there is nothing much else for me now except pills/injections just to keep me pain free and comfortable.

It's quite sad that someone at my age is stuck with this.

They said I'd be likely to have Osteoporosis (Sp?) by the age of maybe 30, maybe a bit later on IF I'm lucky. *fingers crossed*

The doctors also told me at the age of 14 I'd be confined to a wheel chair by the age of 16, but I refused. I can say that I'm now 19 and I'm still very much walking, biking, jogging, swimming and very active.

Despite the injections/pills the only thing that has the hardest impact on me is the way that some people look at me and treat me. Some people thing that I'm not a normal person because I have a physical disability. They don't understand I guess..

I appreciate all your responses though. It means alot to me to actually get feedback and kind words from people who have been or are where I am now.

Thank You so much.


Hi ladyfirestorm,

You seem to be on the right track, make sure you eat well and very importantly exercise and stretch regularly.  Weight bearing exercise helps stimulate bone density, so keep it up.  try to be as active as possible.  You are living proof that an acitve lifestyle helps.

In terms of eating healthily, research has shown that certain food groups have a tendency to create free radical activity.  Avoiding these food groups could be beneficial as you are already predisposed to have an arthritic condition.

Im sure your very tuned in about possible causes and catalysts etc.  But ive written a blog perhaps theres some area of arthritis that may be of interested to you.  I started writing articles because alot of information is available, but it seems to be spread out everywhere.  Over time i want to cover all aspects of arthritis giving suffers a comprehensive library of information.  I believe other people are able to write comments aswell.  feel free to provide us with a few words of wisdom.  Im sure there are lots of younsters out there going through the same thing and would love to hear what you have to say.

Best wishes




Thank you for the Reply Michelle. I will be sure to check out the posts you have written.

Feel free to call me Candice.

The only advice I can give anyone suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, or really anything that is a ailment is don't give up.

Don't think your battle has been lost, there are too often people who think that they're illness has taken over and that there is no more hope in the world for them.

I did that at the age of 14, I wanted to give up but of course being under age I wasn't allowed to turn down my treatment so my parents basically pulled me through it.

I'm so thankful they did or else I don't know where I'd be.

To a Message I recieved Privately I do want to say that there is such thing as Arthritis going into Remission. Mine has before, so don't think there isn't such thing.

I was recieving Methotrexate and Etanercept injections for 2 years and My arthritis went into Remission until I made the mistake of stopping it.

It was foolish on my part, but I had my reasons.

I had found out that they have used Methotrexate in causing Chemical Abortions.

Being so Anti-Abortion like I am I did not want my body injected with something as harmful as that, something that could end an innocent birth.

I stopped both my injections for two years, which caused my Arthritis to come out of remission.

I just recently started back on tem a few months ago and I'm already feeling awesome.

So My words of Advice are Don't Give Up! Don't let your illness get the best of you.

As far as the foods, I'm aware of the foods to stay away from but it doesn't work for me. I am on a strict diet to gain weight, due to the arthritis I am a bit under weight. I'm on a high calorie intake diet, so I was told not to listen to the foods to stay away from until I'm at an appropriate weight. I have a very high metabolism, I also suffer from Fibromyalgia, Anemia and I'm Lactose Intolerant but because Arthritis can cause bone problems, and because I'm told I will likely develop Osteoporosis (Sp?) I need as much Calcium as I can get, and I didn't agree with taking Caltrate and all those other calcium vitimins, I get my Calcium the natural way. I eat Yogurt, Cheese, I drink Chocolate Milk/White Milk.

Now I feel as if I'm rambling, and I apologize.

But to the readers, please don't give up. There's so much out there for you, do research like me, talk to your Rheumatologist because there are alot of treatments.


Hi Candice, have you tried the all natural product called MonaVie yet?

may god be with you

I was surprised when I read your message because I have a similar story. I was about 12 when I was diagnosed after being told I had “severe growing pains” for about 2 years. Finally at 12 they told me I had JRA. Sometime in my 20’s I noticed they started calling it RA. Did they tell you that you would grow out of it? That is what they suggested and what I believed for a long time.
Anyway, I am 30 now and have been on Enbrel and Methotrexate for 7 years. I’ve never met another young person with RA. It sounds like yours was very active…is the Enbrel stopping the progression? I also walk for exercise but was never able to jog or bike because of the RA. A lot of times I wish I could feel what it would be like to run! I bet it’s great.
You sound like a strong person…keep it up and good luck to you!