Little girl becomes unexpected face of Arthritis

1 year 3 months 6 days ago December 16, 2015 Dec 16, 2015 Wednesday, December 16 2015 Wednesday, December 16, 2015 7:15:00 PM CST in News
By: Ashley Holt, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Though Arthritis is usually associated with older individuals, Samantha Hopkins is living proof that kids can get the disease too. 

On a quiet Columbia day Richard Hopkins and his daughter Samantha were hosting a garage sale. But not just get ride of old belongings like one would expect. But to raise money and awareness about Samantha's Juvenile Arthritis. 

"It kind of hurts my joints," Samantha Hopkins, a five-year-old Columbia resident said. "One time my knee was swollen." 

"We didn't know that kids could get Arthritis. Most people hear about Arthritis, and they think it's for older folks," said Samantha's father Richard Hopkins. 

According to the Arthritis Foundation, Juvenile Arthritis affects about 300,000 children in the United States. 

"JA is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16," the website said. 

It also said there are various types that share symptoms like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth. However, different types can have differing levels of severity. 

"Pain is not the main symptom, disability is. So they [children] actually acquire the position to help their joints function. So they are lymping, or they have awkward walk, or they are stiff in the morning," said Samantha's doctor, Dr. Anjali Patwardhan, MD, Pediatric Rheumatologist at the MU Women and Children's Hospital.

She said the most difficult part about the diesase is that most doctors and patients don't even know it exists. 

Samantha's father said, "When they wake up and they're sore, but by the end of the day, they're running around, you might not know what's going on." 

Samantha was diagnosed when she was two, and it took six months for doctors to figure out what was wrong. Samantha recalled what it was like before she had her medicine.

"In the morning you [her father] had to pick me up," she said. 

She has to take Humira via shots by her specialist in Columbia and go to an eye doctor in order to stay on top of the related eye disease. But Hopkins recalled how difficult it was to come up with Samantha's regimen.

"They try something, if it doesn't work they try something else," he said. "So there's lot of trial and error when it comes to treating for this, and hopefully we can get better at that."

Samantha said she has definitely seen a difference since she's been receiving treatments.

"It doesn't hurt as much," she said.

"Samantha lives a normal life, but it is absolutely thanks to the last thirty years of advocacy, of fundraising and research. And we want to be part of the next thirty years, and hopefully get rid of this forever," Hopkins said.

Samantha's family created Samantha's Superheroes last year when she was chosen as the local youth honoree for the Jingle Bell Run, which is a 5K in Columbia every year that raises money for the Arthritis Foundation. 

Samantha's October garage sale raised $600 for this year's Jingle Bell Run, and her family has already raised a total of $3,000 for the foundation this year. 

"We're going to continue to talk about our story, and hopefully more people will hear and want to support the cause," Hopkins said. 

The Arthritis foundation website said there is no cure for the disease. But with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment, remission is possible. 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - A federal court convicted a Columbia man on charges related to child pornography and sexual exploitation of... More >>
9 minutes ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA— A bill supported by representatives on both sides of the aisle aims to change the way childcare subsidies are... More >>
53 minutes ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Residents of Mid-Missouri are accustomed to seeing the large rotunda of the Capitol building in Jefferson City... More >>
57 minutes ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 2:20:06 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Tuesday after witnesses from a deadly shooting connected him with the crime scene. ... More >>
1 hour ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The first African-American to lead the police department in Kansas Cit y, Missouri, i s... More >>
2 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:08:27 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fraud charges have been filed against a man accused of e nrolling in a Missouri co... More >>
2 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri m an has been indicted for allegedly sex trafficking three female victims, including a... More >>
2 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:26:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Police arrested a man who led officers on a short chase and had a crystallike substance in his... More >>
3 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents rallied in front of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler's office Thursday morning, asking the Missouri congresswoman to... More >>
3 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:11:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Justice Department attorney says Ferguson, Missouri, i s making "meaningful progress" in enacting policing and... More >>
3 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:31:00 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Police in Springfield say a man who kept authorities in a several-hour standoff was later found... More >>
4 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:16:00 AM CDT in News
RENICK, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a tree trimmer was killed in north-central Missouri wh en a tree he was... More >>
4 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:12:45 AM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Two area libraries received federal grants worth nearly $25,000. The Daniel Boone Regional Library received a... More >>
4 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The daughter of outspoken conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly alleges in a new lawsuit that several of... More >>
4 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:27:35 AM CDT in News
FULTON - Police arrested a home burglary suspect Wednesday morning after he left identifying information behind. Officers responded to... More >>
5 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 9:53:00 AM CDT in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - Divers found human remains in a pond early Tuesday morning, and authorities are investigating the case as... More >>
5 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 9:33:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man is accused of causing a car crash that killed his two young... More >>
8 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:16:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas City man who was naked when he was arrested has been charged... More >>
8 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:12:17 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
4pm 67°
5pm 68°
6pm 68°
7pm 67°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld