Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Zach Grebey on Good Day LA

Published on 
February 20, 2010

A recent Good Day LA interview featured Children's Hospital Los Angeles patient, Zach Grebey, as well as Head of Rheumatology, Dr. Andreas Reiff. During the interview, Zach talks about his battle with rheumatoid arthritis. The 8-year-old explains how he first knew something was wrong.

"First, my legs started hurting. Then after a while, it started to be both my legs. And it just started moving up to my arms and to my fingers..."

The interchange took place during a report on 36-year-old Los Angeleno, Jeff Gottfurcht, who is doing his best to help kids with rheumatoid arthritis through The Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children's Arthritis Foundation.

Gottfurcht is currently battling the disease himself, but finds comfort in raising awareness about children diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Jeff says:

"When I talk to people, the immediate thing they say to me is, 'I didn't know kids could get it.'"

As for young Zach, despite his diagnosis, he and his mother—who has been living with rheumatoid arthritis since she was was diagnosed as a child—both remain hopeful. Dr. Reiff asserts that the research and treatment taking place at Children's Hospital Los Angeles should inspire confidence in patients.

"One thing that I am really proud of is the degree to which our hospital has been involved in the development of new therapeutics for children. I can say that there is virtually no anti-inflammatory or biologic drug that has been placed on the market in the last 10 years that was not tested in clinical trials here at our hospital.

We are part of the genetic core at the University of Southern California and, together, and we work to find out which genes are involved in pediatric rheumatology."

In fact, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles was one of the first hospitals in the country to develop a children’s arthritis program  and its Division of Rheumatology cares for children throughout five southwestern states.

For more information, visit CHLA.org