My name is Brooke Christian and I am 15 years old. On the outside I look like a typical 15 year old. I like to hang out with my friends, I play sports, and I love to go to baseball games. On the inside, however, I feel like an 80 year old. I suffer from joint pain in my hips and my back and I get tired easily. These symptoms first started when I was 12 years old and I was officially diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis when I was 13.
Currently I take 31 pills a week and I give myself once weekly injection to help ease my pain. I have had multiple MRIs, ultrasounds and blood tests. My condition has affected my schooling in a couple of different ways. With all of my doctors appointments I have missed countless days of school. When I am at school the teachers have made modifications to deal with my JA. I am allowed to stand up when I want to, I can have another student take notes for me, or the teachers print notes for me to use.
The summer that I was going into 8th grade, the doctor recommended Camp Milagros. I was nervous about going since it was my first year, but once I got there I was excited to meet so many wonderful, new people who are just like me. I figured arthritis camp would be a bunch of us sitting around talking about our condition. It was great to find out that we would go on a ropes course and ziplining. Although I aged out of Camp Milagros, I now get to be a part of Teen Retreat through the Arthritis Foundation. We have gotten to hear many great speakers and we go on fun outings. I have made many close friends thanks to the Arthritis Foundation.
Although I had to give up basketball, I have continued swimming. In fact, I am undefeated in the 50 yard backstroke for my age group this year in my league. I continue to have fun with my friends and family, I love boating and camping, and I continue being as active as I can. When I grow up I want to become a trauma Nurse. I have always been interested in science