Be part of the Eastside FC tradition and run with your teammates and many other EFC friends and families and let's raise money together to fight Arthritis. We are asking ALL Eastside FC teams not competing that day to join us in the 5k or 12K:
Sunday, December 9th
Westlake Park - Seattle
Free 2018 Scarves for all who register under Team Eastside FC - courtesy of one of our generous club sponsors and an EFC parent, Jason Cook of Jason E. Cook Realty. Register under "Team Eastside FC" at: https://events.arthritis.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=649
Arthritis affects many in our community, regardless of age. Kim Calkins, technical director of the Reign Academy and former EFC Girls Director of Coaching, and her family have been deeply affected by Arthritis. At the young age of 12, Coach Kim's daughter Sarah was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis forever changing her life.
Please consider supporting kids like Sarah with either your participation in the Seattle Jingle Bell Run on December 9th or your financial support to the Arthritis Foundation. Sarah shares her story with us and how the diagnosis has changed her life. Read below or watch her video:
Hi, my name is Sarah Calkins and I am 15 years old. I was diagnosed with JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) on September 6, 2015. I was 12 years old and I was really confused. How could a kid get arthritis? I soon learned that there are tons of kids all over the world that struggle with arthritis, I am just one of thousands. The first hardship that I faced was playing soccer. Everything was painful. I would come home after games and practices with swollen knees and tears running down my face. Often, I would have to get steroid injections in my knees. The injections would kill off the white blood cells that were attacking the cartilage in my joints. Within about 4 months of being diagnosed, my arthritis had spread to every joint in my body. Anytime that I would catch a cold, or any sickness, inflammation would take over all of my joints, including my spine and my eyes. I wouldn’t be able to get up out of bed, walk, or even hold a fork to eat. I felt paralyzed, and trapped. I was constantly having to either force pills down my throat or inject myself with medication. I had anxiety, and nightmares about being chained to a table while doctors covered by cough masks stabbed me with needles. The worst part was I thought I had nobody to talk to, nobody who would understand. I was depressed, I hated myself, I hated my life. I was too embarrassed to go to practice because I knew I would limp, and cry, and swell up. I knew I would never be able to run, or jump, or play the way that I used to. I would forever be debilitated. I often felt that I had to put on a mask, or a tough face. I thought that maybe, if I hid my pain or didn’t acknowledge it, that it would eventually just go away. Sometimes I still think that.
About two years ago, my Rheumatologist Dr. Stevens, decided that I should try infusions. During an infusion I would sit in a chair for about 4.5 hours with an IV in my arm that pumped medication into my body. I was initially scared, but I truly, think that this has changed my life. During these last 10 or so months, I have not experienced flare-ups like I did before. I still get very sore, and my infusions make me really sick, but I am finally able to enjoy life more. Most importantly I am able to love soccer again. If it weren’t for the Arthritis Foundation, the money that they raise, and the studies that they do, doctors wouldn't be able to help me or others experience a somewhat pain free life. There is no cure for Arthritis, but by doing the Jingle Bell Run, you would be able to give kids like me hope for a happier future.