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She's an Inspiration

‘Team Cheyanne’ rallies for Arthritis Foundation, raises $600

Queens Courier—July 8, 2012

Ten-year-old Cheyanne Campo of Woodhaven has achieved a lofty goal, despite – and because of – a sometimes painful disease. She raised close to $600 for the Arthritis Foundation and participated in the organization’s annual Arthritis Walk on June 23 in Manhattan.

Cheyanne Campo with her aunt and brother
Cheyanne Campo, center, with her aunt, Natalya, and her younger brother, Ricardo.

Campo has juvenile arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in her knees and other joints. Juvenile arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to various autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that can develop in children ages 16 and younger.

Over the years, she has maintained a positive attitude and nowadays devotes much time to educating others about juvenile arthritis. Thanks to specialized care and treatment by a pediatric rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, Campo is living life as a happy 10 year old. Hospital for Special Surgery also supported the Arthritis Walk, with 195 staff members taking part in the event.

Dr. Emma Jane MacDermott, Campo’s rheumatologist, says medical advances have enabled many young patients to live life to the fullest.

“When a child is diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, many parents are worried and upset,” MacDermott said. “They are thinking about a future for their child full of problems, and we really like to reassure parents that’s not the case. A lot of parents worry that their children shouldn’t be in sports, they won’t be able to take part in physical activity, and that’s often not the case.”

Although her knees occasionally hurt, Campo has little time to rest. She was busy getting ready for the Arthritis Walk, recruiting family and friends. They sported T-shirts that said “Team Cheyanne” during the 3.5-mile trek.

When asked what she would tell other children newly diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, her advice is wise beyond her years.

“You don’t have to be that scared because after a while you’ll know it’s just a small part of your life, and you’ll just believe that it’s not even there. It’s going to be hard at first, but then it’s going to get better and better and better.”

Read the full story at queenscourier.com.

Watch an interview with Cheyanne and Dr. MacDermott.



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