A great article on wavenewspapers.com tells of juvenile arthritis victim and advocate Mikayla Mannig, 13, of Downy, CA, who was one of nine youngsters with chronic ailments who rode the Kaiser Permanente float in the recent 2012 Rose Parade.
“It was so much fun to ride on the float and to see all the smiling faces [of the crowd],” she told Wave Newspapers reporter Arnold Adler. “I had the best seat in the parade. The whole experience was amazing.”
The theme of the float was “Everybody Walks.” It featured a caterpillar with numerous legs walking. To keep with the theme, Kaiser provided the youngsters with safari-type clothing to keep them comfortable during the two and one-half hour procession.
Mikayla has suffered from a form of juvenile arthritis since she was 3. Her arthritis immobilizes her with severe pain throughout her body and stiffens her neck, a representative of the Arthritis Foundation explained to Adler.
Proving that even with disabilities a person can still be active in life, Mikayla was Junior Miss Downey Teen Princess in 2010, and last April took part in the regional Southern California Junior Miss competition in Long Beach when she once again won a place on the court along with teens from throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties.
Mikayla is also student body president this year and a member of the school’s cheer squad.
“I like to cheer,” she said, but admitted to Adler that sometimes her condition makes it more difficult to do the acrobatics associated with cheerleading. Over the years Mikayla has required occasional hospitalization to manage her disease.
Mikayla is a great example of how good disease management can allow arthritis sufferers of any age to continue to live an active, vital, and rewarding life. Simple management measures can go a long way, such as using an ergonomic pen for all writing activities. The UGLee Pen is scientifically designed to be comfortable and relaxing, allowing arthritic fingers a stress-free writing experience.
To read Arnold Adler’s entire article on the amazing Miss Manning click here.
Photo Credit (Float): facebook.com/kaiserpermanente
Photo Credit (Mikayla): wavenewspapers.com