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2012 Let’s Move Together Honoree Mathi’s story

My name is Mathi Willoughby.  I am 16 years old and was diagnosed with Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 3. I have been in and out of physical therapy all my life, and currently attend twice a week. 

Because of my JRA, I have had four joint replacements in the past two years:  both of my hips and both of my knees.  These joint replacements dramatically improved my life. For the first time, I am going to school not using a wheelchair, or even a crutch.  In fourth grade, my teacher carried me to class because I was in so much pain.  Now, each day gets easier.

The Arthritis Foundation has helped my family by educating us and bringing us together with other arthritis families.  Two things that have changed my life was Camp JRA and the JA Conference.  I have been going to Camp JRA for three years now, and love it because I get to meet so many kids with arthritis, and have made lots of friends.  The conference was very beneficial to my family because we got very useful information about arthritis at college, transitioning to an adult doctor, discussing my needs with others and more. 

Now that I am feeling better and more mobile, I am sharing my story and teaming up with the Arthritis Foundation to raise awareness.  This is how I plan to raise money.

  • When I registered, I made a donation to myself
  • I asked 2 of my friends for a donation
  • I’m asking my doctor’s office for a donation
  • I am asking 3 of my neighbors for a donation
  • I am asking 3 local businesses for a donation
  • My dad is going to donate a week’s worth of his morning coffee money

Please join my team, or make a donation to, “Mathi’s Members” for the 2012 Let’s Move Together© Spring Walk in Pittsburgh, on June 2, 2012!  Together, we can improve the lives of others who have arthritis.

To join “Mathi’s Members” or to participate in the Spring Walk, visit www.letsmovetogetherpittsburgh.arthritis.org.

Thank you,

Mathi

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