Carrie Matthews was diagnosed in her mid 30’s after her second child was born. Carrie has been having pains in her hands and wrists which were not normal. After making an appointment with rheumatologist she was immediately diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Carrie, like many others was prescribed various medications to get the RA under control. These included pills, self injections and infusions. She has also done physical therapy to help alleviate pain and discomfort. Carrie has spent her fair share of time in the hospital battling this disease and refuses to let it take over her life.
Carrie is a mother of two, a Chicago police officer and active with the Arthritis Foundation. This is Carrie’s 4th Jingle Bell Run in Chicago. No matter the weather she will always finish the race. Carrie loves to travel, try different restaurants, play with her kids and just hang out with friends. Bringing awareness and taking to others about this disease is very important. The more people know the more we can try to find a cure. Education is key.
This disease has affected Carrie in many ways to her hands going numb where she has to tell her kids they can’t hold her hand. It’s very sad to think she can’t hold her 9 or 7 year olds hand at times because of the pain. Carrie continues to go to doctor appointments and follows through with the treatment the doctor prescribes. Carrie is a warrior and will continue to fight and hopes to see a cure one day.
Join Carrie in the fight against arthritis, register or donate today!
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Henry was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) when he was 3 years old. He was admitted to the hospital last summer after his symptoms came on very suddenly, and almost overnight he was unable to walk. Fortunately, he was referred to a rheumatologist quickly while in the hospital. Since being diagnosed, Henry loves to attend local Arthritis Foundation events and got to attend the Juvenile Arthritis Conference in Seattle, where he got to make new friends and loved playing with the other kids at what he called “arthritis camp”. Henry has an incredibly positive attitude, loves his doctors, nurses, and therapists, and never complains about clinic visits, injections, or other medications. Henry stays very active and has worked hard in physical therapy this year. Henry has a 7 year old sister, Annie, who he loves to play with. He also loves to go to school and camp, play (and ride on) planes and trains, ride his bike and scooter, and go swimming. Henry wants to be a pilot when he grows up. Henry’s parents, Erica and David, wanted Henry to be the Youth Honoree to raise awareness of this disease that many people have no idea affects kids. They also want to help support research efforts toward new and better treatments and working toward a cure.