Jingle Bell Run rings hope for arthritis research

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - From hitting a grand slam to punting a football, Blake Doossche is a typical 4-year-old boy. But in his active little hands, Blake is fighting juvenile arthritis.

"He would wake up at night crying that he was in pain and that his legs were hurting," said Blake's mom, Amanda Doossche.

With aches and pains starting at 20-months-old, it wasn't until he was two that he got the final diagnosis of juvenile arthritis.

"It's something that people normally think of for older people but in the nation there are about 300,000 children that have arthritis and in South Carolina about 4,000 kids are diagnosed with arthritis," Amanda said.

Behind his smile, Blake has to endure weekly painful shots and an anti-inflammatory pill once a day to treat the pain.

His parents, Amanda and woody, say the treatment is worth it, to see their son just get to be a kid.

"He runs, he jumps -- he's a typical 4-year-old. He just pays for it later," Blake's mom said.

"There hoping with 2 to 4 years of treatment that the arthritis will go into remission so hopefully that wont limit him in elementary, middle, high school to play anything he wants to do," Blake's dad, Woody Doossche said.

With the help of the Arthritis Foundation around $4.1 million is given to arthritis research every year.

The Arthritis Foundation is hosting the Jingle Bell Run/Walk on Saturday to raise money for vital research. Blake Doossche is the youth honoree at this year's event.

Runners and walkers are asked to tie jingle bells to their shoes in honor of the cause. The race starts at 9 a.m. at Mount Pleasant's Roper St. Francis Hospital.

For more information on the Jingle Bell run click here.

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