Teen Pageant Winner With JRA Looks To Inspire Others

Teen Pageant Winner With JRA Looks To Inspire Others

Mikelle Nickoles was recently named Miss Mooresville Teen USA and will be representing the greater Mooresville, North Carolina area at the Miss Teen North Carolina pageant in November. However, Mikelle isn’t your typical teen beauty queen – she has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).

She was only four years old, a mere kindergarten student, when she was diagnosed. After her joints began to hurt as she became more heavily involved with gymnastics, Mikelle’s parents knew she had to see a doctor. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that she was suffering from JRA.

Mikelle Nickoles, juvenile arheumatoid arthritis sufferer, wins beauty pageant.Since her kindergarten days of tumbling on gymnastics mats, Mikelle has had to suffer with not only her arthritis, but also criticism from her peers when she fidgets in class or is constantly moving to try and rid herself of her joint pain. There are days when her arthritis is so unbearable, it is all she can do to not stay in bed all day. In addition, she does not have medical insurance, which has been a huge strain on not only her condition, but also her life in general.

“I have decided I will not let this bring me down,” she said proudly. “I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.”

Mikelle admitted that her parents were always worried about her and how she felt, which was hard and trying for both of them. But then, Mikelle discovered pageants as a personal outlet and way to not only express herself, but to also raise awareness for her disease. Going through the pageant circuit has opened her eyes and made her passionate about her causes.

“I think pageants are a great way to bring awareness that everyone goes through different struggles and that not everyone is the same,” she said. “I have a story to tell. Living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since the age of four has been no easy task, but staying positive and active has been my remedy to a normal and fulfilling life.”

Mikelle discovered the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) through a common arthritis advocate, and how the foundation is a charity for children that funds a special juvenile arthritis award each year; The Kelly Award. By working with ANRF, Mikelle hopes to raise awareness and fundraise for research so that a cure will be found in the future.

Mikelle hopes to inspire others with her story and prove to people that no matter what their situation, anything is possible.

If you’d like to share your arthritis story, contact KYLE!

ANRF
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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