Trent has dealt with chronic health problems since he was only 5 years old, after being diagnosed with juvenile psoriatic arthritis. However, that was just the beginning of his health journey. Over the next few years, Trent was also diagnosed with crohn’s disease, Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome, POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), kidney dysfunction, asthma and anemia. It has been a long journey of ups and downs for Trent and his family. This month will mark the 10 year anniversary of his first diagnosis. Trent often has to miss school and fun events to go to all of his doctors’ appointments, medical tests, and procedures. He faces many challenges, as he appears to be a healthy growing teenager on the outside, but it is what people (both adults and children) don’t see that is the real struggle. While Trent’s diseases may appear invisible to others, his body gets easily exhausted. He has joint pain and stomach issues often, along with trouble taking notes and getting around his school. Trent describes his conditions with the word “invisible” because people cannot see all he deals with beneath the surface of his 5-foot, 8-inch growing body…. but Trent sure can feel it!
Trent is like most teenage boys. He likes to kick back and play video games on his X-box or computer any chance he gets. Whenever possible, he also likes to swim and snorkel. He enjoys playing sports with family and friends, but because he has a port (a central venous catheter with a tube that goes into a vein in the chest and ends at the heart) to administer medication, he is unable to participate in contact sports.
Trent and his family have always liked to give back to others to show they care. They “give back” to several organizations by raising funds in exciting and interesting ways. The entire family participates in the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk and the Walk to Cure Arthritis to raise funds to cure Juvenile Arthritis. They also participate and help coordinate raising funds for Bella’s Army for Cancer. In addition, Trent’s family does an annual Quarter Auction; and in 2019 they donated $2,741.75 to the Purple Playas Foundation. On March 22-23, 2020, Trent, and his sister Makena (who you met last month), will be our sibling honorees for our 2nd Annual Purple Playas Par-Tee & Charity Golf Tournament.
Trent believes good things have come from living with a chronic illness. His favorite, by far, was meeting Tim Tebow and getting to throw some footballs back and forth with him. How cool is that! Also, Trent has made some great friends through both Camp Boggy Creek, A Serious Fun Camp for children with chronic illnesses and also at the National Juvenile Arthritis Conference.
Trent’s advice about living life with chronic illness is simple, “Don’t Give Up!”