It’s no secret that bone broth is commonly used as a form of relief and support for people who suffer from arthritis. When we hear the word arthritis, our thoughts are not naturally drawn to children. It’s not a disease one could imagine a child would have to bear the burden of. In reality though, and according to the Royal Children’s Hospital, there are at least 5000 children in Australia with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).
JIA is a form of arthritis that forms in children under 16. In simple terms, it’s a form of joint inflammation for which there is no known cause. It can appear in many different ways and its severity varies. Symptoms can include joint swelling, pain, stiffness, fever, rash, loss of appetite and loss of weight.
Now, I don’t know about you, but the thought of it makes me shudder. The thought of children having to go through that kind of pain? That just makes me want to cry. When a kid can’t be a kid in his or her truest running, walking, falling, ‘get-upping’ form… How is that fair? That’s how Emma Sheldrake felt when she received the news that her daughter, Lovella, had JIA. Devastated. Relieved to have a diagnosis but devastated just the same.
Lovella was diagnosed with JIA at just 18 months old. After watching her and her twin sister, Scarlett, grow and develop, Emma knew there were significant differences in their development. Lovella couldn’t walk properly and was clearly in pain. After many tests and much medical attention, the diagnosis came. Although Emma expected it, she was shocked to discover that Lovella had an extended version of the condition that only 25% of sufferers have.
As soon as her diagnosis was confirmed, Lovella’s treatment began immediately. Lovella was put on a medication designed to bind to a tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) which could be a major contributor to inflammation and block its inflammatory effect. She was also prescribed a medication to dull the body’s immune system to stop it from falsely attacking a threat that wasn’t really there. While effective in treating her condition, these drugs made Lovella’s immune system more susceptible.
Luckily for Lovella, her mother already had extensive knowledge of the powers of bone broth through working with Broth of Life. Lovella was happy to drink bone broth on its own and Emma made it a regular addition in her cooking. The beauty of bone broth for Lovella, was not only could her joints be supported by the glucosamine sulphate and collagen found in it, her gut health could also be strengthened.
Now? Lovella consumes Broth of Life every day. It works in conjunction with her medications to ensure she is as healthy and mobile as she possibly can be. And while growing out of her type of aggressive arthritis is unlikely, her parents are hopeful. From hardly being able to walk to where she is now – walking and running short distances, they’re confident that she has a great chance of managing it successfully through her life.
She’s in the top 75 percentile for her height and weight, she loves swimming, which benefits her condition, so much so that they’ve nicknamed her ‘mermaid.’ Lovella’s gentle warm-hearted nature towards animals and her desire to help others despite her condition is both inspiring and admirable. We all probably know some grownups who could learn from her kind heartedness and resilience.
The Broth of Life team feels so blessed to work with a product that can help Lovella through her condition. It’s real life stories like hers that genuinely keep us pushing each day. There’s so much that bone broth can do. There are so many people it can help. We are just so grateful that it found Lovella and that she might have a healthier, happier, more comfortable life because of it.