More than 50 million people have arthritis in the u-s and more than 300 thousand of those are children. Alabama ranks the second highest state for people with arthritis per population.
And there is no cure.
Leyden Skippe is an active teen. She even played on the Junior Olympic volleyball team last year that won a National Championship.
You'd never know that she constantly deals with pain.
Leyden was diagnosed with arthritis when she was 14 yrs old.
"They told me that it was going to restrict the things that I did and I would hurt more. It's shocking because you don't think as a teenager I'm not going to be able to jump up and down 20 times or I'm not going to be able to run 14 miles," said Leyden.
The arthritis pain can keep you from enjoying activities...and life in general.
But Leyden has tried to over come that.
"I play volleyball and I stay moving as much as possible and that helps a lot," said Leyden.
But the pain of arthritis is always there.
And it is much more common than you might think.
"In Alabama, it affects one in three Alabamians and that is not a great statistic that we'd like to keep. So that means there are 1.7 million Alabamians with arthritis, and if we're the only agency out there raising funds and awareness for arthritis, we definitely need that support," said Lisa Hemphill of the Arthritis Foundation.
We, here, at Alabama News Network are lacing up our shoes along with the arthritis foundation this Thursday for the 2013 Arthritis Walk to help find a cure for people like Leyden.
In the meantime, Leyden is learning to cope with her pain each day, and she encourages
others with a similar diagnosis.
"It's not easy. It's not something that's going to go away, but it can be dealt with.
And if you listen to your doctors and do what they tell you, you are going to be okay," said Leyden.
The Arthritis Foundation needs your help in meeting their goal of $42,000. Right now, the funds are at a little over $32,000.
Come walk with us! The festivities begin at 5 p-m on Thursday at Alley Station in downtown Montgomery. We will walk to the capitol building.
For more information on how to register or donate, call the Arthritis Foundation at 557-1577