Grand Rapids, Mich. – Not many people think of children being the ones who suffer from arthritis. Contrary to popular belief, arthritis affects people of all ages.
One family in particular ran in today’s Jingle Bell 5K, fighting for their child who lives with the disease.
Seven-year-old Owen Barrett has been fighting the disease since birth. Misdiagnosed as allergies for two years, Owen was finally properly diagnosed with arthritis in almost every joint in his body.
“It was a shock and then I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, my kid has arthritis,’ he's never once complained of being in pain,” said Owen’s Mother, Aimee Barrett.
Because Doctor’s believe Owen’s been in pain his entire life, that he doesn’t know any different.
so “When you hear that your baby has been in pain since he was born it breaks your heart,” said Owen’s mother.
His arthritis did not stop him from running this year’s Jingle Bell 5k. Running a seven minute mile, Owen was this year’s honorary youth at the race.
The Barrett’s run every year, celebrating how well he’s responded to his medicine. This year, team Barrett raised over $5,000 for the Arthritis Foundation of West Michigan.
More than 500 joggers ran for the cause, dressed in holiday gear. Even Santa Clause made a special appearance.
Money raised from the race is going to research that’s become the forefront of early diagnosis, helping other’s overcome the pain of arthritis.
The Barrett’s are running for hope this holiday season, hoping that one day their child won’t have to live with the pain of arthritis.
More than 30% of Michigan residents suffer from arthritis, 10,300 people being children. The cure is something doctors are still looking for.