Mason Merager

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Small and mighty.  That’s how many describe twelve year old middle school student Mason from Wyoming.   Mason is just like any other twelve year old boy… he likes to hang out with his friends, play hockey and baseball, travel and pick on his little sister.  What makes him different from most other kids is that Mason is living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.  Diagnosed at age three, Mason has grown up with this autoimmune disease that destroys joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues.  JIA prevents him from moving his joints properly, often hampering or halting his physical movement.

Although Mason is only 12 years old, he often inspires others to look for the positive in every situation.  He uses his voice to help battle his illness and to make his story known for the benefit of other children by advocating for those living with JIA. Mason’s determination and resiliency in the face of his disease is truly an inspiration to all who meet him. 

Because Mason’s arthritis severely hampers his mobility, his NEADS service dog will provide companionship and assist with his day-to-day activities allowing him to achieving greater independence.