Reading: John Patrick Lynch
John P. Lynch has had rheumatoid arthritis for 58 years. Since 2001 John has been a volunteer advocate and fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. The foundation has honored him with its Great West Region Advocacy Award and Inspirational Leadership Award.
Through the foundation’s annual advocacy summits in Washington D.C., John and other advocates helped secure Medicare coverage of self-injected biological drugs for inflammatory arthritis. In the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures, foundation volunteers raise awareness about arthritis, advocating for the appropriation of sufficient public resources to prevent, control, and cure this chronic, painful, and disabling condition.
John has recently authored his memoir, Tale of an Old Katfish, which tells the stories of his life and other Katfish—kids and teens suffering from juvenile arthritis. There are presently 300,000 such children in America.
As an old Katfish, John’s mission in telling his tale is to raise awareness about juvenile arthritis. By so doing he hopes to continue helping in the search for the cure for juvenile arthritis, thereby making the Katfish like the dinosaur—a thing of the past!
John Lynch was a promising athlete, but at age eleven was struck by a crippling illness. He was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), a disease that affects 300,000 children, making them unable to live full-functioning, pain-free lives. Children with JRA are called Katfish, a name derived from Kids and Teens' Families Investing Support and Hope.