Joshua always ate oily and junk foods when he was still a child. His beverage would always be coke or processed drinks. In short, he’s living an unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, at the age of 12, his knees and feet began to hurt. Sometimes, he couldn’t even walk. So he went to the doctor and discovered he had “Rheumatoid Arthritis.” As a result, he can’t play, dance, run, and jog anymore because of my condition.

He never envisioned himself suffering from arthritis at a very young age. At one point in his life, he got depressed because he envied children who could still play outside. He told himself that he needed to do something to alleviate the boredom he felt. So, he started painting. It instantly eased Joshua’s stress. At the same time, he started selling paintings to earn money to help his family and buy medicines for himself.

One day, he realized that he wanted to contribute to his community, that Joshua wanted to reach out to help people, and that he wanted to raise awareness about arthritis. So he started raising awareness about “Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Joshua also advocated for Youth empowerment and Climate Change awareness- a timely and relevant issue in my country. Every week, he would always conduct clean-up drives across the region. He would always go to waterfalls, bays, coastal areas, and public markets to complete my projects.

Aside from being an advocate, Joshua is also a student achiever in his school. He is a consistent honor student and finished senior high school as the class valedictorian. From 2020-2021, Joshua competed in 21 competitions in total: 12 International competitions and 9 National competitions. He was proud to say that he bested in all those competitions. Joshua competed because their family business was struggling financially because of the pandemic. He also wanted to help his parents financially and donate funds to some organizations creating eco-friendly initiatives. In 2021, Joshua was recognized as “Asia’s Most Influential Youth of the Year” because of my projects and inspiring story.

He wants to be living proof that there is hope in our wishes. Joshua tried to influence people, especially the youth, through his actions. Because when he persuades them, they will be able to recalibrate their minds and positively impact our society. Joshua thinks he could prove to others that he is much more than his arthritis. That he is capable of creating community actions despite his condition.