Conor’s Story: Jumping to make a difference for children with arthritis

By Conor Darcy

When I was 7 years old I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Before this I Jump for JA was a really active child like every 7 year old should be. As the disease got worse I would become more and more determined to be as active as possible, but unfortunately sometimes it was just impossible to be active at all. From playing football for four hours in a day to bed-ridden the next, the constant transitions from pain to games and back again made life very unpredictable.

Jump for JAAround 2005 I was admitted into hospital for an indefinite amount of time, the first time this had happened since diagnosed in 2001. With symptoms becoming progressively worse and more symptoms occurring which wouldn’t be generally associated with JA it was unsure completely what was happening. Eventually I was diagnosed with Macrophage-Activation Syndrome a rare disease that would be associated with JA. Once the problem was discovered I was treated by a great team of doctors and was on the road to full recovery.

After this my overall quality of life improved and I vowed to always be as active as possible. I became a member of three extra sports teams rather than my previous one. But with this I always wanted to push more and do things I would have never been able to do prior, even on my best days.

So I decided to reach for the sky, and back again! A skydive for Arthritis Ireland was the Jump for JAultimate ambition. Before I was unable to do things that were everyday occurrences, now I wanted to do things that were once in a life opportunities. In July 2011 I decided to take the Jump for JA. The adrenaline and the sense of accomplishment in doing it is an unbeatable feeling. By doing the skydive I proved to myself that with determination and endurance, JA – no matter how much it tried – would never take control of my life.

I do believe everyone should stay as active as possible. If on days you feel unable to run you should still walk. If on days you feel you unable to walk be determined to walk tomorrow! Everyone should aim to their limits and beyond them, that’s why if you feel you could jump why not out of a plane? Why not jump for JA?

Jump for JAWith a Jump for JA you will be helping to change the experience of children with this debilitating condition. Click here if you would like to find out more about taking a Jump for JA.                                  

2 thoughts on “Conor’s Story: Jumping to make a difference for children with arthritis

  1. I was very glad to hear that July was Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month! I’ll admit that I was not aware of this last year, but there are a lot of things that one can learn over the course of 365 days. Recently, I read this really heartbreaking article about a two year old that has been diagnosed with JRA. The parents did not know what to think when her first symptoms manifested. Too me, this continues to highlight the need for raising awareness for all forms of juvenile arthritis.

  2. Hello again, I was just thinking that you guys would be interested in reading this new article. A very interesting study was just published regarding the role of remission in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I think this research shows a lot of promise, and would be something you’d be interested in learning more about. This is the link to my own article on this:

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