Oct 22, 2018
As our Community Spot Light continues with the Arthritis Foundation's signature event the Jingle Bell Run we had the pleasure of chatting with Jennifer and Jaydin Mercer. They are a local family who shared their personal arthritis story with us.
Jaydin will be serving as the Youth Honoree for this year’s Jingle Bell Run. Remember her name because this girl is a rock star!
All I really remember was the pain. Not really how it happened, just how much it hurt me to have it. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Three big words that mean a lot to me now but did not register in my mind back then. I was only four-years-old, so I did not understand what was happening.
The first medicine I began taking was medication to reduce the swelling, but it just increased my stomach aches. After switching my medicine, I soon had to be put to sleep for steroid injections in the left knee. While this was going on, we also figured out that I had Uveitis, a type of Arthritis in my eyes. It causes them to inflame, which can lead to blindness if not treated. Today, I manage my Arthritis by taking my NSAID twice a day, receiving a shots every Saturday, and getting a blood draw every six weeks. Staying active and eating healthy also help me stay happy and feel as good as possible!
Despite having Arthritis, I am able to play soccer, train in Martial Arts, maintain straight A’s for three years, and get into the gifted program.
As the official Youth Honoree, I have a chance to help others going through the same problems as me. The foundation also made it possible for me to go to Camp Boggy Creek for a family weekend last fall and a whole week this summer. I can now help raise money for this great foundation! I am honored to raise awareness about something that others might overlook or not understand and show them that this is a serious issue for people of all ages. We should be working together to find cures and other ways to help. I am proud to represent the Arthritis Foundation!
Now in its 23rd year, the Jingle Bell Run in one of the Arthritis Foundation’s signature events that is held nationwide during the month of December annually.
This event provides a robust opportunity to partners to capitalize on the visibility and accessibility to the direct audience of the Arthritis Foundation which is comprised of community members including doctors, nurses, physical therapist, afflicted individuals and families suffering daily from arthritis. (More info in the PDF download with this episode.)