MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Watching Jarrett Michie on the court, you wouldn’t know he’s in near constant pain.
“I try to zone out everything and just play,” said the 11-year-old.
But the 11-year-old has a lot to zone out. About two years ago he was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. The pain is so bad in his back and legs, he has to wear ice packs after games and practices.
Once a month, Jarrett goes to Amplatz Children’s Hospital for an infusion of medication to treat the pain. He also gives himself a shot once every other week or so.
His mom Kim said, “It’s a little overwhelming.”
While it is a lot to deal with, the Michie’s are happy to know what Jarrett has. When the pain first started, they spent months searching for answers.
“That is a huge relief. You never want to hear that there’s anything, but at least it wasn’t that unknown,” said Kim.
Eventually a rheumatologist made Jarrett’s diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. About 5,000 thousand Minnesota children have it. Jarrett’s parents said he has a choice to make.
“We just told him it’s going to change your life. It’s a new journey, but it’s what you make it,” Kim said.
A glass half full kind of guy, Jarrett set out to help others. Last year a team he organized raised more than $22,000 for the Juvenile Arthritis March. He’ll receive a special honor at this year’s event on March 1 at Mall of America.
Jarrett hopes someday his arthritis will go into remission. Until then, he’ll be on the court.
To donate to Jarrett’s team, click this link.