Sports star battles back from arthritis

A TEENAGE badminton player whose life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 14 has spoken of his joy at returning to the sport he loves.

A TEENAGE badminton player whose life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 14 has spoken of his joy at returning to the sport he loves.

Mike Anderson was left devastated when he was left unable to walk because of the debilitating bone disease, leaving him no choice but to give up his promising position as a county team member.

But now, just two years on, the talented youngster has taken up his racket once more and is determined to pick up where he left off.

“I was still playing badminton in the January, and by the March of that year I could not walk,” said Mike, who lives with his parents Lenore and Dave in Exning, near Newmarket.


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“I went to hospital and was put on chemotherapy medication, but it took a while to work and I was bed-ridden for about a month.

“But eventually the swelling in my joints went down and the arthritis was knocked into remission, and I was able to think about getting on with my life.”

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Mike, who will be 17 in May, is now studying towards his A-levels at Newmarket College, and has gone back to playing at the Abbeygate Badminton Club, in Bury St Edmunds.

He has also re-joined the Army Cadets, which he was forced to give up as a result of his diagnosis.

Arthritis - which means inflammation of the joints - currently affects around eight million people in the UK. There are approximately 200 forms of the disease, which can affect many different parts of the body.

“The trouble is that the people I used to play at county level have now moved on, but my performance is not as good as it used to be so I have a lot of catching up to do before I can play for Suffolk again,” said Mike.

“I am a very active person so it was very hard to give up everything I used to enjoy doing, but it feels brilliant to get back to it.

“I had always associated arthritis with older people, and I suppose it was something I took for granted, but in fact anyone can be diagnosed with it and people need to be aware of that.”

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