SIDNEY — A Sidney girl is part of the National Institute of Health’s study on spondyloarthropathy.
Anna Neu, 7, daughter of Emily and Justin Neu, has active ankylosing spondylitis which is a disease in the spondyloarthropathy family. She is a patient at Nationwide Children’s in Columbus, and Shelby Pediatrics in Sidney. She and her family also travel to Bethesda, Maryland, to the National Institute of Health twice a year.
She is being studied as the youngest patient known to have active ankylosing spondylitis.
Unfortunately for Anna, her tests this month show that her disease is very active and not being controlled by the many medicines she is taking, including her monthly infusions at Nationwide Children’s in Columbus. Her disease affects her lower back, spine and hips and causes pain and mobility issues.
Ankylosing spondylitis is often referred to as the “invisible disease” because you can’t see any of the effects on the outside, but the symptoms and effects on her tendons, ligaments and bones on the inside are very real.
Anna’s family created a team called Anna’s Angels to help raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. The Neu family attends a conference every summer for kids who are affected by many forms of arthritis. Anna is one of more than 300,000 children fighting some type of arthritis.
Anna’s Angels is holding several local events in October to raise money for Anna’s Angels team which is participating in the Jingle Bell Run in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec, 3, 2016. All proceeds will go to the Arthritis Foundation who advocates on Anna’s behalf and all arthritis patients or to medical and travel expenses for Anna.
Join Anna’s Angels at one of the following events:
• Wednesday, Oct. 12 – Eat at Buffalo Wild Wings in Sidney and tell the cashier or server that you are dining for Anna’s Angels. Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10 percent of your bill to the Arthritis Foundation for Anna’s Angels. Dine-in and carryout are included.
• Saturday, Oct. 22 – Flapjack Fundraiser at Applebee’s in Sidney, Ohio. Tickets are $7 for all you can eat pancakes and bacon. The event is from 8 to 10 a.m. and you must purchase tickets by calling Justin Neu at 937-214-1328. Limited tickets will be available at the event on Oct. 22.
• If you have young children (elementary ages), Anna’s Angels is having a Halloween party at Lehman High School on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. All local children are welcome. There will be activities, food and fun. Tickets are $5 presale per child or $10 at the door per child. Tickets can be purchased by calling Justin Neu at 937-214-1328 or Emily Neu at 937-710-0096.
Join Anna’s Angels Jingle Bell Run team by visiting www.jbr.org/columbus/annasangels. If you can’t make the race in Columbus, you can “Jingle in your Jammie’s” from home but still be a part of Anna’s team. The registration fee will increase Oct. 15, 2016 so join now.
“It is hard to see your child in pain and not be able to take the pain away. Raising money for the Arthritis Foundation is one way that we can help Anna and show her that she has an entire community that is fighting with her,” said Emily Neu.
Anna is a second-grade student at Holy Angels School.
Anna’s family would like to thank the Sidney community for all of their support.