Arthritis is usually associated with the elderly.
However, it can also strike the very young. Nalani Clements said her younger
years were normal until she reached age 12.
"I went to the hospital and they kept saying it was
leukemia, and they called a specialist in," said Clements. Several doctors
later, there was a new diagnosis. "It came back that it was not Leukemia, but
in fact it was Juvenile Rhematoid Arthritis. With the severity of the disease,
and it was still affecting all of my joints, that more than likely I would not
graduate high school. That I would be bed ridden."
The disease went into remission until she was 18, so she
did graduate from high school in 1994, and even worked a while before it
"I couldn't hardly walk," she continued. "It was just
killing me to get up and walk across the floor."
Stiffness and aches invaded every joint, including her
"My hands were perfect and good all through high school,
and even working because I worked with computers. When I had surgery in 95,
they did surgery on my right hand, and after surgery my hands just started
She was confined to a wheel chair for nine years. She
said after some divine intervention, she started walking again. She said newer
medicines stopped the progression, but can't reverse the damage. Nalani wanted
others to know about the disease.
"This is not just something you see in nursing homes,"
said Clements. "This is not just an old people disease."