JRA Not Holding Back Stolberg
According to the National Institutes of Health, JRA is a long-term (chronic) disease with early onset that results in joint pain and swelling. Sharon Stolberg acquired JRA at age 19 months. As a child, she went from walking in braces to using a cane and then crutches to using a wheelchair by age seven. At age 11, her disease flared-up to the point she couldn't attend school for a year. She nearly died. Within the next few years, she had three major operations, and would continue using a wheelchair until age 18.
"Having to use a wheelchair definitely isolated me," said Stolberg of her youth. "I was different and couldn't be as independent as most other people my age. I wasn't dating and couldn't do sleepovers because my friends' homes weren't accessible. That restricted me to doing things mostly with my friends with disabilities."
At 19, she made a decision to leave her wheelchair. She went on to earn an associate's degree in Florida, get married, and finish bachelor's and master's degrees in special education, with the latter at Lee University in 2011. Today, she teaches a special education class of nine children at an elementary school in Tennessee.
It's not that her juvenile rheumatoid arthritis has improved to the point of allowing her to accomplish her dreams, but rather she has fought through the pain. She enjoys rock climbing, biking, hand cycling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
She said, "Because of JRA, I'm only 4'6". I have severe limitations in the range of motion in my arms, which impairs me most, and I also have limitations in every joint in my body. The pain is there all the time and to be active I have to mentally block out the pain. The only good joints I have are the artificial ones, my two hips."
Sharon Stolberg is a board member of Sports & Recreation of Chattanooga, a chapter of Disabled Sports USA, which is a national organization providing adaptive sports opportunities for people with disabilities. She wants to become a motivational speaker.
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesAmerican Heart Association: Placer County a Fit-Friendly WorksiteAUBURN, Calf. -- Placer County employees have happy hearts. Placer has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite
Mom and Son with DisabilitiesMary Anne Fleury of Elizabeth, Colorado, has experienced disability from nearly every angle.
Roseville Flash Crime Report (2.10.16)Roseville, CA- Police activity and crime log digest summary for the period of February 3-9, 2016.
Roseville Region Gets Influx of Incoming U-HaulsRoseville, CA- The Roseville- Sacramento region ranks 2nd in the nation for incoming one-way truck rentals according to recent U-Haul news.
Placer SPCA Seeks Nominations for 2016 Hero AwardsRoseville, CA - Placer SPCA is seeking nominations for the 2016 Hero Awards, to be presented at the 15th annual Funny Bones Comedy & Awards Night
Placer County Moves Forward on Homelessness ApproachContinuing to address homelessness in Placer County and improve the quality of life for residents, the board of supervisors voted unanimously today to pursue a regional approach
Your Health: Not Getting Blood TestsIt is extremely unfortunate that most patients will not even think of going to a doctor until they have symptoms, which
2016 Housing Market UpdateRealtor, Julie Jalone, of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville writes about the housing market performance predictions presented by the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors at a recent conference.
New California Laws for 2016 (Final)Roseville, CA - The final installment for New California laws for 2016.
Placer SPCA Announces 2016 Board of DirectorsRoseville, CA - On January 18th, the Placer SPCA announced the election of its 2016 Roseville, CA - The Placer SPCA recently announced the election of its 2016 Officers for the Board of Directors.
Roseville Gas Price Wars: Under $1.90 a GallonRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville are pushing to lows not seen in a very long time. Costco and ARCO continue to dominate the leaderboard
2016 Subaru Forester: Reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- The Subaru Forester is a no-frills SUV that embraces Subaru's practical approach to auto making.