Conor D'Arcy (aged 20)
Conor D’Arcy was just 7 years old when JA was diagnosed. As a child, he found it difficult not knowing anyone else his age who was going through the same thing. After a few teenage years of being symptom free, his arthritis is now back. Conor never lost touch with Arthritis Ireland, though, and is now helping to raise awareness by sharing information through various social media.
“When I reached my late teens, my arthritis became inactive and I didn’t have symptoms for years. Then, four months ago, I began to feel pain in my hips and I couldn’t straighten my legs. I went into the hospital and they told me it was back. I’m on a biologic now to treat it. It’s difficult after such a gap with no symptoms but I’m very positive that I can manage it.
“Even during the years when my arthritis wasn’t active, I still kept in touch with Arthritis Ireland. I recently shared my story on their website and did an interview with the Irish Independent to help raise understanding that children and young people can have this disease too. I still remember what it was like to be the only one with arthritis so I hope this awareness chips away at helping more people to better understand it.”