Like other 15-year-old boys, Jacob Toresen loves his rugby and is determined to play.
But unlike other boys his age, the Clevedon teenager pays a high price for his sport.
On a bad day, a game can take so much out of him that he is literally unable to move for the rest of the weekend.
Jacob has a debilitating form of arthritis for which he takes strong medication twice a day as well as weekly injections.
Managing pain is his top priority.
Many New Zealanders think of arthritis as an old person's disease but it affects more than 530,000 New Zealanders of all ages - 1000 of them children.
Jacob was just 11 when he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis after recurring pain in his shoulder and hip.
That has now spread to his other main joints.
A defining moment for Jacob was the first summer after diagnosis when a bad reaction to the medications he was taking saw an unsightly rash erupt all over his body.
It was the season of pool parties and being sidelined is a feeling Jacob will never forget.
Arthritis New Zealand supports Jacob and says his story shows how arthritis can affect anyone at any age.
It's also an inspiring story of a young man with a lot of courage who refuses to let his condition hold him back, the foundation says.
This week is Arthritis Appeal Week. The national street appeal is on Friday. Arthritis New Zealand is looking to raise half a million dollars to help the half a million New Zealanders living with arthritis.
People can phone 0900 333 20 to donate $20, text joints to 5464 (full amount of the donation will go to the appeal), or go to arthritis.org.nz to donate.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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