Students participate at "Ace"ing Arthritis event
"Kids get arthritis, too," is the message that fifteen-year-old Molly Fletchall has been sharing with people her whole life. Molly was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when she was only nine months old. Upon diagnosis, doctors told her parents that there was a 50% chance that she may never walk. Thanks to the determination of her doctors at Riley Children's Hospital and aggressive treatment, Molly has been in remission from the disease since she was three years old.
Molly started the "Ace"ing Arthritis fundraising event as a way to raise money and awareness for JRA by doing something that she loves to do: play tennis with her friends. This was the second year for the "Ace"ing Arthritis fundraising event held on December 1 at Carmel Racquet Club. Junior tennis players from the Indianapolis area came together to play tennis together for a couple of hours and raise money for the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run and Walk. This year, more than 30 junior tennis players supported this cause. The event raised more than $500. Molly Fletchall shared:
I started "Ace"ing Arthritis because I wanted to raise money and awareness for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)…. I no longer suffer from arthritis pain, and I feel very lucky that I am able to play tennis. I play tennis and walk in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis for all of those kids that can't play the sports they love because of their arthritis pain. The t-shirts from the event said, "Game, Set, Cure". Hopefully one day we will find a cure for arthritis.
All of the donations from the event benefit the Indiana Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Carmel Racquet Club donated the courts, and Fishers Family Care sponsored the event.
Molly has played tennis since kindergarten and has played in USTA tournaments since she was ten. Molly also played singles on the Carmel High School varsity team as a freshman last spring.
Special thanks to Jill Fletchall for contributing to this article.