John Lynch was a promising athlete, but at age eleven was struck by a crippling illness. He was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), a disease that affects 300,000 children, making them unable to live full-functioning, pain-free lives. Children with JRA are called Katfish, a name derived from Kids and Teens’ Families Investing Support and Hope.
John continued to seek new treatments, but not until age fifty-three was he given the “miracle drug” that enabled him to sustain a thirty-year legal practice. During that time he dedicated his life to helping others who suffered from JRA, and became a much-honored advocate for easing their distress.
In addition to chronicling John’s journey from victim to advocate, Katfish includes the stories of children fighting through pain to carve out successful lives. These tales will give hope and inspiration to those afflicted with chronic illness and to anyone who must overcome a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in order to lead a happy and meaningful life.
John P. Lynch has had rheumatoid arthritis since 1959. In 2004, he formed The Rheumatoid Arthritis Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help find the cure for JRA. He has been a longtime volunteer advocate for the Great West Region of the Arthritis Foundation. The region honored him with its 2002 Advocacy Award and 2009 Inspirational Leadership Award. John has worked tirelessly for the appropriation of public resources to prevent, control, and cure this chronic, painful, and disabling condition.