West Michigan Child Lives With Arthritis at Age Two

Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-02 19:38:28-04

NORTON SHORES, Mich., (April 2, 2014)–A West Michigan mom is now on a mission to raise awareness about the most common cause of disability in the U.S, arthritis.

At just 2-years-old Jeanne Proefrock’s daughter Mackenzie was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis and this year is the ‘ 2014 Grand Rapids Walk To Cure Arthritis’ honoree.

“I was very scared I didn’t know children could get this. I’m one of those hundreds of people that says this is an old persons disease, it’s not something little ones get,” said Proefrock.

Mackenzie’s story began in the summer of 2012 when she started to have pain in her left hand and eventually developed a lump on the back of it.

After it didn’t get better for some time, Jeanne took her to the doctors multiple times until she was finally diagnosed in November.

“She lost function not only in her left hand but she was no longer holding things. When she was at her worst, if other children were playing she would get in a chair and hide, afraid of being hurt.”

At this point Mackenzie’s arthritis is now suppressed by medication and she’s getting back to being her normal three year old self, doing things she couldn’t before.

It’s one reason why Jeanne says it’s so important to her to share her daughters story.

“Someone else going through what we were and that whole uncertainty in the beginning. Maybe they can have an idea of where to go and questions to ask because we didn’t know, we saw her pain and just wanted to fix it.”

The ‘2014 Grand Rapids Walk To Cure Arthritis’ will be held on May 3, for more information: