For years doctors attempted to classify Daniel Malito's debilitating illness, that, at times, would bring on "mystery pain" for weeks. It wasn't until all other theories were exhausted that the Garden City resident - at age 9 - was officially diagnosed.
Malito has been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for more than 25 years and was compelled to write a book about the lack of understanding surrounding the illness.
"Four years ago, I decided that I was fed up with the lack of understanding about my illness, and decided to do something about it," he said.
So Young – A Life Lived With Rheumatoid Arthritisis Malito's way of sharing his experience with the disease and informing people of all autoimmune chronic illness. "I could fill a book with the misconceptions that have assaulted my ears over the last 25 years, and I may someday," Malito said.
The writing was therapeutic at first but has since blossomed into a career for Malito.
During the process of writing So Young, Malito became a columnist for Huffington Post and CreakyJoints, which is part of the nonprofit Global Healthy Living Foundation.
In an October 2013 entry in Dan's du Journal on CreakyJoints, Malito talks about "some of the craziest things" people have said to him about the disease: "The misconceptions out there, being spread throughout the media, on medicine commercials and TV shows, only makes it much more likely in the future that you will encounter your own daily amount of ignorance. Try to have fun with it, but always remember that each person you educate is one less person out there spreading the lies about autoimmune disease."
The 155-page autobiography can be purchased here and is also available on iBooks in softcover and in all major eBook formats.