Jennifer Barber, arthritis spokesperson

Many people might think Jennifer Barber, at 21, is an unlikely spokesperson for arthritis.

“Whenever I’m talking to people ... they are very surprised because people just don’t understad that young people are very affected by this,” says Barber, a spokesman for the Triangle/Coastal Office of the Arthritis Foundation. The foundation is sponsoring a Triangle Walk for the Cure Saturday in Research Triangle Park.

Barber was diagnosed with arthritis when she was 13. With medication, her disease is in remission and she maintains an active lifestyle. She realizes that “could change at any moment.”

For her advocacy and her own triumph we’re pleased to give her this week’s Durham Grit Award.