Most of us think of arthritis as something that afflicts older people but juvenile arthritis is one of the most common childhood diseases in the U.S. , affecting nearly 300,000 children. One of those is 10-year-old Synnove Solberg of Edmonds, who was diagnosed with Polyarticular Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was 6.
According to her mom, Carol Solberg, “polyarticular” means “many joints,” and Synnove had 29 joints affected. It is a painful disease, and Synnove has been on numerous medications on her journey toward remission, Carol said, including Methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug), Enbrel (a biologic drug), Prednisone, and steroid joint injections in 19 joints. She is not in remission yet, but lately she has been “under control.”
“Synnove has a great spirit and determination to not let her arthritis stop her from doing the things she enjoys,” Carol said, including soccer, basketball, Girl Scouts “and jumping on the trampoline with her many friends. “Her arthritis doesn’t define who she is; it is just a part of her life.”
This Sunday, Dec. 12 (the day after Synnove’s 11th birthday), friends and family will be joining the “Synnove’s Sprinters” team for the annual the 26th Annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Seattle, a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. Synnove is featured on the Jingle Bell Run home page as an honoree, and also appeared on KING-TV’s New Day Northwest last week.
In addition, Cousins Hair Design in Mountlake Terrace, where Carol works as a stylist, has raised over $1,000 in four weeks by selling paper jingle bells.
“Synnove is such a strong little girl,” Carol said. “These kids are amazing — they don’t let their pain or disabilities stop them from doing anything they want!”