Little girl becomes unexpected face of Arthritis

3 years 11 months 1 day ago Wednesday, December 16 2015 Dec 16, 2015 Wednesday, December 16, 2015 7:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2015 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
COLUMBIA – From showcasing hand-carved wooden canes to hosting a silent auction for a local food bank, the annual art... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, November 17 2019 Nov 17, 2019 Sunday, November 17, 2019 7:03:00 AM CST November 17, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Officials confirmed there was a hunting incident Saturday night. Boone County sheriff's deputies and several medical... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, November 16 2019 Nov 16, 2019 Saturday, November 16, 2019 6:43:00 PM CST November 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One person has been detained following a police chase that ended at the Taco Bell on Providence Road... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, November 16 2019 Nov 16, 2019 Saturday, November 16, 2019 5:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Police arrested one person after a report of shots fired on Quail Drive Saturday afternoon. Earl Tramail... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, November 16 2019 Nov 16, 2019 Saturday, November 16, 2019 4:41:00 PM CST November 16, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Deputies were dispatched to the Midway Travel Plaza on Saturday for a reported bomb threat, but they... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, November 16 2019 Nov 16, 2019 Saturday, November 16, 2019 12:24:00 PM CST November 16, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Former Kansas City Chiefs football player and eight codefendants have had additional charges filed against them... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 16 2019 Nov 16, 2019 Saturday, November 16, 2019 8:51:00 AM CST November 16, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - There have been three water boil advisories in the past week for about 50 people in the Hickory... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 6:57:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged a man Friday with child sex crimes which court documents said happened in 2018 and 2019.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 4:05:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in News
MOBERLY – Moberly City Council approved a $4.6 million bid to replace all of the water meters in the city.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 3:28:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Housing Authority is looking for ways to give new life to four historical homes. Executive... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 2:14:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Organizers from ECHO Autism's summit are pushing for more resources for people with autism in rural Missouri. Many... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 2:14:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department asked hunters and rural landowners for help in locating evidence related to missing person Mengqi... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 1:44:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police have located a 4- or 5-year old girl who was seen running around alone in a south... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 1:13:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY- Deputies are looking for a man after he allegedly crashed a stolen car, then ran away Friday morning.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 12:28:00 PM CST November 15, 2019 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Conversion therapy for LGBTQ young people will not be allowed in Kansas City. The... More >>
2 days ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 9:40:00 AM CST November 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One man is dead of a self inflicted gun shot while one woman sustained a non-life threatening gunshot... More >>
2 days ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 8:55:00 AM CST November 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The new MU Plant Growth Research Facility is set to open Friday. The building cost just more... More >>
2 days ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 3:23:00 AM CST November 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia and Boone County are announcing the Boone County Counts Partnership on Friday. This partnership... More >>
2 days ago Friday, November 15 2019 Nov 15, 2019 Friday, November 15, 2019 3:18:00 AM CST November 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
12pm 45°
1pm 47°
2pm 48°
3pm 48°