Still riding to help find a cure for juvenile arthritis | Letter

Another young person has been diagnosed with an “old person’s disease.”

Another young person has been diagnosed with an “old person’s disease.” Just the other day, a fellow parishioner stopped to visit with me after church services. She said that she had read about me in the local paper and how I often said that “kids get arthritis too.” She went on to say how she never thought anything like that would happen to any child she knew, much less someone in her family.

“Yet,” she said, “I just learned that my 12-year-old granddaughter was recently diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.”

This woman was at a loss, she clearly didn’t know what to expect or which way to turn. She was searching for answers. How could her 12-year-old granddaughter be fine one day and then the next day not even be able to walk because of the severe pain she was experiencing?

I really wanted to tell her and her family that everything would be OK, but I couldn’t. I honestly don’t know if everything will be OK. With more than 300,000 children diagnosed with a form of arthritis, how could anyone say everything is going to be OK?

Through the articles I write and the Peoples Coast Arthritis Bike Classic that I participate in, I am continuing to try to raise awareness of this horrible disease. In addition, I also try to raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation. Most of the funds raised go to research, but some go to Kids Kamps, a camp where kids with arthritis can participate in events and come to grips with the fact that other kids have arthritis too. They learn they are not alone facing this disease. They learn they have their own support pier group – kids just like themselves.

This year, I am continuing to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation through my team Amber-Brooke.

We will be cycling the Oregon coast in September, raising awareness and funds through the Peoples Coast Classic. You can support us with a donation at

This is the fourth year I’ve participated in this amazing bike ride. I’ve been asked if I get tired of fundraising for this event and I simply say that when I see and hear of these kids who’ve been diagnosed with JA, I am ready to get a cardboard sign and stand at the street corners of Seattle if that is what it takes to raise funds. A cure must be found!

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this horrible disease won’t happen to anyone you know. Until a cure is found, it will strike again.

Al Knopik


More in Letters to the Editor

Promote the common good by ensuring individual liberty

Citizens following their passions and dreams improve the lot for all.

Carbon pricing won’t help environment, but will hurt taxpayers

How would a Washington carbon tax make a difference in the world “climate?”

It’s never enough

Based on numbers from the legislature, Enumclaw School District will be receiving huge funding increases from the state. Yet here we are with Enumclaw and a bunch of other districts telling the taxpayers, give us more, we need more.

Why are trailers allowed at Expo Center?

When my husband and I moved to our home in 2001 and for every year after the Expo Center grounds have always been pleasant to look at on your way to our home. No longer is this true.

Columnist sheds light on Koch brothers

Our economy, along with our political system, is broken and indeed destroying our democracy.

Letter writer cites no evidence for claims

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

Don’t label all Trump supporters as racist

While the column correctly points out that Trump supporters are happy with his performance and still enthusiastically support him, Mr. Elfers had to inject the liberal “lie” that Trump supporters are racist.

Anthem protests about equality, not disrespect

For all who write negative comments about the football players who took a knee and posted that “this is not the America we grew up in,” let me share a few of the personal events from my life growing up in Tacoma Washington as a white woman.

Former fan finished with disrespectful NFL players

I lived off the grid for 15 years and the one thing I missed the most was watching pro football.

Thank you everyone who made ‘Make A Difference Day’ a success

I want to thank everyone who makes every day a “Make a Difference Day” in Black Diamond.

Nationwide infrastructure needed to combat Alzheimer’s

Too often Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are treated as a normal aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the U.S. develops every 66 seconds.

Children of illegal immigrants should stay

You are not “making America great again.” You are just making it more intolerant to diversity.