Zoe Newman is a teenage girl living with Juvenile Arthritis (JA). She is a freshman at Pius X High School. When Zoe was 2 years old, her daycare teacher noticed that she didn’t run around with the other kids and had a hard time sitting “crisscross applesauce.” She was then taken to her pediatrician, who diagnosed her with arthritis and sent her to Children’s Hospital in Omaha for treatment.
It took several medication trials and almost two years before a suitable treatment was found to help Zoe be able to walk without pain. Not only did her medication help her walk pain-free, but it also helped to prevent further damage to her joints. Twelve years later, Zoe is an avid soccer player and even learned how to ski for the first time recently!
Zoe has a great support system, which includes her parents, Brent and Jackie; her younger brother Dane; two puppies, Marshall and Riley and her beloved cat Petey Juan.
When asked how arthritis has affected Zoe’s life, Jackie said, “Even though it is hard living with arthritis, Zoe’s attitude remains positive. She has been able to do things that she probably wouldn’t have done before, like speak to members of Congress to advocate for everyone that is dealing with arthritis. We’ve also become friends with other families from different parts of the country that face similar challenges as ours.”
Zoe and her family have utilized resources made available through the Arthritis Foundation, such as Camp Spirit and JA Family Days. With generous support from donors and foundations, including CHAD, Zoe received a scholarship to attend Camp Spirit in June 2018. Camp Spirit is a summer camp tailored to kids with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. The Arthritis Foundation and the community members they serve are grateful to CHAD for their support of these programs.