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Sedalia student helps support Art for Arthritis

A Children's Mercy doctor diagnosed teen with JIA

Arthritis is a disease characterized by joint pain, swelling, stiffness and fatigue. Those typically diagnosed have some form of constant pain because the body simply wears down.

A type of autoimmune disease, arthritis is typically associated with the elderly, but that is somewhat of a misconception as more than 300,000 children have been diagnosed with the disease, including 5,400 in Missouri and four who live in Pettis County.

Kasey Bouslaugh, of Sedalia, is one. A vibrant and active sophomore at Smith-Cotton, Bouslaugh was diagnosed Oct. 23, 2013, one day before her 14th birthday.

"When your child is complaining and crying herself to sleep at night, it's frustrating," Laura Bouslaugh said. "When you know that there has to be something wrong and you can't do anything to make it better when that is all you want to do."

For Laura Bouslaugh and her husband James Bouslaugh, their persistence made the difference in Kasey finally being diagnosed with JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis).

"We went from doctor to doctor before finally finding Dr. Maria Abarra, a pediatric rheumatologist at Children's Mercy who made the diagnosis," Laura Bouslaugh said. "It took four years but finally we found someone who was willing to complete the necessary blood tests on Kasey and who provided the necessary physical examinations, four years, before we found someone who believed there was a real problem."

Read more via the Sedalia Democrat.