Karen Mitterer was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at eighteen months of age. She was affected by the disease every day of her life. Over time the drugs that were used to ease the pain, damaged her organs; the drugs that treated the arthritis lowered her immune system to almost nothing. But Karen had a resilient spirit, and fought every day to be and do better.
After graduating high school in her hometown of Oak Park, Illinois she would go on to attend Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts. There she developed her love of literature and government/law, honing her critical thinking skills. After graduation she returned home and studied law at Chicago Kent School of Law. Her passion for helping people guided her through her time there which ultimately led her to open her own Special Education Law Practice in Seattle, Washington.
Over the last 15 years of her life Karen helped countless families navigate the education system, advocating on behalf of students and providing support for otherwise lost families. Over those same 15 years she dealt with her own personal health struggles, surgeries, hospital stays, and pneumonia. Never once, even while hospitalized, did she give up on her goal of making the world a better and easier place for kids with disabilities. It is by her example that Kids with Pain formed, and with her spirit will continue to provide education, advocacy, and support for kids with special needs and their families.
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