Living with a hidden disease can make building friendships hard. It’s hard when you feel so alone and your body is full of pain to try and tell people about your JIA. The most important thing to remember that if they’re your true friends they will understand and support you. Now we know this is hard to believe especially if you’re in high school but it’s the truth and Sarah knows it all too well. Below are some of the ways Sarah builds friendships and living with Juvenile Arthritis.
- Tell them about what Juvenile Arthritis is. Explain to them in simple terms that the reasons you’re missing school is because of something you sometimes cannot control.
- Refer them to this website. There has been hours spent filling this website with information not available anywhere else that comes from real life experiences. There’s also many Kids Arthritis YouTube videos and Sarah’s very own video blog that describes JIA in a fun and exciting way.
- Be truthful and confident. Living with JIA is something you shouldn’t hide, because if you keep it hidden what is going to happen to all the other children living with Arthritis? They may have to experience the same problems as you. If you speak out like Sarah did and be truthful and confident you’ll be surprised at how much support and understanding you’ll receive in return.
- Host a Big Blue Night. Invite your friends over, dress in blue, eat blue food and tell them about your JIA and watch one of Sarah Speaks videos online. This will show your friends and family that you’re not the only one in the world.
If you still require support and have any questions please get in contact with one of our Kids Arthritis Volunteers through the Contact Us page.