Its hard to convince that your hip and knee pains are serious when you are seven years old. That was how old I was when I first started having my AS symptoms. Going through countless physical therapies and orthopedists was not an easy thing for someone of my age, but I endured.

When it went away, all of my doctors dismissed it as simple rheumatism. Of course when it came back a year later, the previous steps were not taken and it went away in a month or two.

The big worries started in February of 2006 when I was struck with crushing waves of weakness along with the fact that my back hurt so much I could not bend over without screaming. This was when I took a Lyme Disease test and it came up negative, cluing my doctors in to bring me to a rhuematologist.

On February 21st I was diagnosed with JAS. Since then I have tried a number of anti-inflammatory drugs that have helped to a certain degree, but can never truly take the daily struggle of my spondylitis out of my life. I have been getting by for the last year and a half, doing everything in my power to keep it under control e.g. excersice, stretching, posture and even diet.

My family and I have all been educating ourselves on the facts about JAS, and we all know that we are going to get through it together.