2018 Jingle Bell Run Honorees

 

Gaye Jacques
Osteoarthritis
Adult Honoree  


Gaye Jacques joined the Arthritis Foundation family in Northern New England as an advocate for our military veteran men and women who she cared for as geriatric nurse for 43 years at the New Hampshire Veterans Home. Here involvement became more personal after her own diagnosis came after retirement. But, her main reason for involvement is her 9 year-old granddaughter Emily, who was diagnosed with Idiopathic juvenile arthritis at the age of 3.

Gaye and her Team, the Jolly Jingling Jacqueses, have been active participants with the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis for the past five years raising money and awareness throughout New Hampshire. “Arthritis can affect anyone at any age; Treatments and Research require funding and the Jingle Bell Run/Walk is a fun, family friendly and healthy way to let people help.”

As the 2018 Adult Honoree, Gaye encourages all those who are affected by Arthritis to become involved in the Jingle Bell Run. “Walk it, Run it, Start a Team of family, friends, co-workers, donate! With your participation, we can find a cure.”


 

Emily Jacques
Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree  


Emily was two and a half years old when learned of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. At first she just wouldn't do things that she enjoyed like climbing and sliding at playgrounds. She became more clumsy. The day after her third birthday she began to limp. What seemed to be out of the ordinary strange things for an active kid quickly changed to more significant symptoms such as waking up in agony at night. It was time to see a doctor, because Emily was losing her mobility.

Finally they were sent to Boston and was immediately diagnosed. By now, she could barely walk independently. Treatment began immediately with a daily NSAID, followed by cortisone injections in both knees, ankles, and index finger. These got her moving, but she would need more. Emily began methotrexate injections and was monitored monthly. Her arthritis was so bad at this point, she needed physical therapy twice a week for months to get her walking and back to normal physical movements that her peers could do like jump, bike, and run. As a result of her illness one of her legs is slightly shorter than the other.

For Emily, it has been a long journey with ups and downs. Their family is thankful for a fantastic Rheumatologist. Emily is a competitive dancer and many would never guess she has arthritis. Emily's parents say "she is one of the lucky ones that responds well to treatment." For Emily, she hates taking her medicine,needles, and monthly blood work. Emily was in a remission period, but this past May her arthritis became active once again and she is back on medication with regular follow-ups in Boston. We hope that one day there is a cure so no other children have to fight this fight!

 

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