Cormac Ó Raghallaigh (13) was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when he was nine, and he has lived with swelling of the joints, chronic pain, fatigue, and low form since then.
A huge fan of Gaelic football and hurling, he pushes himself to do well in both. In fact, sport is one of the things that keep Cormac going, as well as his family, and knowing that he has the support of the rheumatology team in Crumlin.
According to his mum, Karen, in the early days when Cormac was diagnosed, the family found it very difficult to accept. It had a huge impact on the whole family and especially on Cormac himself through not being able to take part in his sports. However, after talking to Conor, another young guy with JIA at an Arthritis Ireland family day, Cormac came away feeling a bit better.
Conor reassured Cormac that it wouldn’t always be this hard and things would get easier. He asked Cormac what position he played and suggested he try going in goal. Cormac did this and now he is an amazing goal keeper who has other teams looking for him to play for them.
As Karen says, ‘things will get easier’.