The Huss family first came face to face with the disease in 2010 when Kenley, then just over a year old, was diagnosed with oligoarticular juvenile arthritis (JA). It wreaked havoc on her knees and several other joints, as well as caused unexplained fevers and pain that no toddler should experience.
When Mariah Aquino-Truss was just five years old, she was in so much pain each day she told her mom, Tory, that she “didn’t want to be here anymore.” Imagine hearing such an admission from your young daughter who was newly diagnosed with a form of juvenile arthritis (JA) known as polyarticular spondyloarthropathy.
Born on July 4, Geoff and Sara Morthland called red-haired Ellery their “firecracker,” but at 19 months old, only Ellery’s knees were inflamed. They soon discovered the reason: juvenile arthritis (JA).
“I felt so powerless, Sara Morthland, Ellery’s mother, said. “I couldn’t make it go away.”
Until last summer, Ellie Pruitt was your typical little girl who loved to swing, draw with chalk on the driveway and feed the fish and turtles in the pond at the back of her house in Canton, Georgia, a suburb north of Atlanta. She was funny, smart and especially witty for a soon-to-be 4-year-old (and soon-to-be big sister).
Her journey with arthritis began as a 21-year-old college student. One morning, April N. West woke up feeling like she had exercised vigorously the day before. The pain in her ankles, knees and hips was unbearable. Then without health insurance, she relied on over-the-counter medication for relief, but the pain didn’t go away.
If you think how far we’ve come in treating children with arthritis over the past two decades is nothing short of miraculous, get ready for some spectacular new discoveries in the not too distant future. That’s what Dr. Yukiko Kimura firmly believes – and she should know, since she’s been on the front lines of treating juvenile arthritis (JA) and other childhood rheumatic diseases for more than 25 years.
Dr. Kimura is the chief of pediatric rheumatology at the Joseph Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. She earned her MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and did her pediatric rheumatology fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in NYC. The Arthritis Foundation supported her early training with a fellowship research award. Continue reading Walk to Cure Arthritis: From Small Steps to Giant Breakthroughs→
To say that Parker Lentini’s life has been like riding a roller coaster the past few years may be an understatement. He and his family have endured more nerve-wracking ups and downs than most people experience in a lifetime. Yet it’s their hope and faith, and trying to hold on to the highs they encounter along the way, that help them get through the low spots, when it feels like their lives have been turned upside down. Again.