GARRY GOLD, MD I have osteoarthritis as a result of my own ACL injury. But I refuse to be a pessimist. That's why I am working to develop new imaging techniques to discover the earliest joint changes and reverse the disease or at least stop its effects from being felt. I probably will need a knee replacement in the next 5-10 years. But I'm determined not to see history repeat itself for today's young athletes.
ERICA AINSWORTH Arthritis is unacceptable because of so many things. It really hits home with me because my 12-year-old son suffers from JIA. I watch him suffer through pain and inflammation while trying to be a "normal" kid. He is often picked on at school. We can't shop for longer than about 20 minutes without him having extreme pain in his knees. The medications he has to take cause awful side effects such as extreme fatigue. All I want is for my son to be happy and pain-free. We are praying for a cure!
LETICIA BRADFORD MOHAMED Arthritis is unacceptable because, on the days when I'm hurting, laughing is a little harder and tears are a little too easy.
DINA NEILS At 18, I was diagnosed with RA. I was a competitive cross-country, long-distance runner, and a new triathlete. I'll never forget my first RA doctor's words: "You cannot run anymore and by age 25 you will be in a wheelchair." Nine years later, I've endured two total hip replacements, hours and hours of physical therapy, learning how to walk again (twice), daily medications, weekly injections, monthly infusion treatments, and inevitable wrist and shoulder surgeries. Arthritis is unacceptable.
VERONICA BURGESS It takes my energy that I should be using on my children.
GLORY My 3-year-old daughter, Dani, fights pain and damage to her eye because of this disease. She has had polyarticular JIA since November of 2009. She's so tiny but MIGHTY! It's heartbreaking on bad days, but she's full of joy on good days.
MARK HAUBNER If we can get to the point where I can control my OA and actually become more active in the things I used to like to do, I'd be very excited. If we can stop arthritis from happening to my daughter, that's my goal.
STEVEN SABIN Arthritis is unacceptable because the pain and fatigue don't care about everything else you need to do. It shuts you down, and that's that.
JESUS MENDOZA MEDINA My wife suffers from this disease and its pain. She has had surgeries on her hip, ankle, neck, fractured femur, tibia and fibula, in addition to suffering the pain of osteoporosis. I want a cure for my wife and for other people.
ASHLEY MANTELL At 9 years old, I was put on a powerful medication. Arthritis is unacceptable.
TRACEY Arthritis is unacceptable because I am too young to be dealing with osteoarthritis.