May 22, 2014 2:56 pm

Young marathon runner won’t let arthritis slow her down

WINNIPEG – It’s rare to see Shelby Buhle sit still. The Grade 6 St. George School student loves to run.

“I live to push myself to go further and faster,” said Buhle.

But three years ago she was slowed down with a debilitating diagnosis.

“I have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis,” said Buhle. “It’s an auto-immune disease. So it’s when your immune system feels it needs to fight it but it doesn’t. It causes swelling of the joints.”

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More than 6,000 Canadian kids have childhood arthritis. Buhle is affected in her ankles. The pain was so bad when she was diagnosed, doctors decided to put her in a cast two months before her first ever Manitoba Marathon Super Run, causing her to miss the race.

“I was so disappointed,” said Buhle. “I really wanted to run. It’s for a good cause. I just wanted to run. I love running.”

Buhle hasn’t let her arthritis stop her. The 11-year-old completed the 2.6-mile Super Run last summer in 22 minutes.

“I was amazed of myself,” said Buhle. “I didn’t think I would be able to recover so quickly.”

“It says something about her wanting to do better and keep an active lifestyle,” said Elsie Yip, the co-ordinator of the St. George School running club.

Buhle is now training for her second race. Her drive not only inspires her schoolmates but also her younger sister.

“I hope to show her that being determined and pushing yourself, you can accomplish something,” said Buhle.

The 36th annual Manitoba Marathon takes place June 15 at the University of Manitoba. Registration is still open online for all five events.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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