5 Questions with Mikayla Mining

Esmeralda Martinez, Copy Editor

Senior, Mikayla Mining, was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of three. Mining currently attends Downey High School and annually promotes arthritis awareness through fundraisers and through casual conversations with her peers.

Q1. I understand you suffer from arthritis, what is something that you struggle with due to arthritis?

A1: “I think it’s getting people to understand what it truly is and how it affects people. For me, it’s not as bad as other people have it, so, when people see me, it’s not obvious that I have it. For my best friend, she’s had both her hips replaced so it’s a lot more obvious for her than it is for me. I think getting people to understand and somewhat empathize with the people who do have arthritis is the hardest.”

Q2. Have you met anyone else with arthritis that drove you to do something positive?

A2: “Well, going to summer camps where all the kids there also have arthritis, or- something that also falls under that umbrella, I know that there’s other people in Downey who have it, but I don’t know who they are. Having a group of kids who I’ve been best friends with since I was eight has been the most positive experience so far.”

Q3. How do you spread awareness?

A3: “I spread awareness through a couple of fundraisers at the school. I’m usually pretty open about it. It’s not how I introduce myself, but if people want to know I’m open to answering questions about it. It’s not something I try to hide.”

Q4. Overall, what would you advise young children who have little to no knowledge about their own illness?

A4: “Educate yourself as much as possible because you never know who’s going through what. I know I’ve learned a lot throughout the years that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Just from a simple conversation, whether it’s with my doctor or with other children with arthritis, you can learn a lot through just asking questions.”

Q5. How do you cope?

A5:“I usually just use an ice pack, suck it up, and keep fighting along. I feel like
everyone should remain strong and just pull through one day at a time.”