Aiea Teen Works to Find a Cure for Juvenile Arthritis

Ryan Ariola
Ryan Ariola

AIEA (KHNL) - Many older adults expect things like arthritis as they age. However, a more severe form of Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect children. An Aiea teen is one of those children. And now he is sharing his story in a Talk Story with KHNL News 8.

Thirteen year old Ryan Ariola loves baseball, but several years ago, catching a baseball could create excruciating pain. He was in first grade when the symptoms hit him.

"I had just started first grade I was working on something and I dropped my pencil off the desk when I went to retrieve it I felt the pain in my neck," Ariola said.

Doctors eventually diagnosed Ariola with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and another painful immune disorder called Dermata-Myositis.

Ariola added, "There was a time when I didn't want to do anything but sort of sit around. I didn't want to do anything else. I didn't want to run, I didn't want to play with anyone else. I just sort of wanted to stay at home."

Friends and family helped him get through that challenging time. Thanks to a combination of medications and lots of hope, Ariola has been in remission for several years. Now he spends his free time educating others about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and the need to raise money for research.

"It is important to remember we don't have a cure for the disease yet. So, it's all the better to get the word out and to help people find out what it is and spread that knowledge. And, hopefully we can find a cure for arthritis," Ariola said.

So that others can enjoy what it feels like to be in remission and pain free some day.

This weekend Ryan and his family are hoping to raise money at an upcoming fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. It's the Arthritis Foundation's 5th Annual "Reds, Whites, and Blues" fundraiser. Saturday, July 21st from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Aloha Tower Waterfront. Tickets are $75.

The event includes gourmet food, wine tasting, and blues. For more information and to buy tickets call the Arthritis Foundation at 596-2900.

For more information on Arthritis, click on the Arthritis Foundation link.