1697. Ned Lowell
Ned Lowell, aged 11, from Penzance, was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis three years ago and has since been dedicated to raising awareness of the condition.
Ned was diagnosed with arthritis when he was just nine years old, and a swollen knee gradually worsened until he was unable to walk. He was left using crutches and a wheelchair while undergoing difficult treatments that made him extremely ill. Wanting to share his experiences of living with the condition, which affects 15,000 children in the UK, Ned published his own book earlier this year, ‘PEG-LEG’, documenting the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of arthritis in a funny and engaging way. Ned works closely with ‘Juvenile Arthritis Research’ charity to support other children affected by the condition and reduce stigma.
In a personal letter to Ned, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“By telling your own story through your wonderful book ‘PEG-LEG’ you are sharing helpful experiences with other young people living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.
“Any illness can seem overwhelming and scary and so I applaud the way you are tackling stigma and helping children to learn about their condition in a fun way.”
“I am really excited to be given this award. I was surprised that the Prime Minister had even heard of my book! I hope this helps people to understand about Juvenile Arthritis and what it can be like for kids who have the problem. Without the NHS, I wouldn’t have been diagnosed so quickly or had such amazing treatment, so this book is also a thank you to all the people in the NHS who have helped me – the doctors, the nurses and the physiotherapists. Also a massive thank you to the ‘Juvenile Arthritis Research’ charity for believing in me and publishing my story!”