Young people of Oklahoma are faces of arthritis

Oklahoma juvenile arthritis patients were honored in connection with Saturday's Arthritis Walk.
BY GINA STANLEY Modified: May 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm •  Published: May 18, 2013

Colten and Landen Frodsham are typical brothers. They have spent countless hours teasing, fighting, laughing and playing. Even though less than two years separate them, they have very different interests and hobbies.

But they share a disease that afflicts one in 1,000 children. They both have arthritis.

There are 3,500 Oklahoma children living with juvenile arthritis, said Sherri O'Neil, regional vice president of the Arthritis Foundation/South Central Region. That is one reason the organization is featuring children as special honorees for this year's fundraising walk.

“Arthritis is a life-changing disease and can affect anyone at any age,” O'Neill said.

The Arthritis Walk is an Arthritis Foundation nationwide event that raises awareness and funds to fight the nation's leading cause of disability.

The Oklahoma City chapter's walk is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at Frontier City, 11501 N Interstate 35 Service Road.

Colten, 9, and Landen, 7, along with Jase Sledd, 9, of Sulphur, and Rachel Howard, 17, of Oklahoma City, are the 2013 Faces of Arthritis for the walk.

The brothers met Jase last summer at Camp JAM, for Juvenile Arthritis and Me!, held every year at Camp Classen.

Behind the faces

Colten Frodsham — He is a second-grader at Dickson Elementary School near Ardmore. An outgoing boy who loves animals and reading, Colten was diagnosed with post-streptococcal arthritis at age 7. He began treatment at Shriners Hospital in Shreveport, La., and learned he is in remission during his most recent checkup.

Landen Frodsham — With a love of cars, tools and University of Oklahoma football, Landen is all boy and embraces first grade at Dickson Elementary with enthusiasm. At 5 years old, he was diagnosed with the same condition as his older brother. He spent three months in a wheelchair as doctors struggled to determine his exact condition. He was also declared in remission after treatments at Shriners Hospital.

While the brothers are in remission, there is always a chance arthritis will flare back up, said their mother, Kristina Frodsham.