Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Emily is a tough and active little girl who was always trying to keep up with her older brothers. When she was 2 years old, she woke up one morning with pain and swelling in her knee. Her parents thought that she had just bumped it, and throughout the course of the day it got better. It happened again the next day. On the third day, she woke with so much pain that she couldn’t even walk, and her parents took her to the ER. After a normal x-ray and some abnormal blood work, Emily was referred to Rheumatology. At her first appointment with Rheumatology, she was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and put on anti-inflammatory medication. The swelling continued and she received a series of three corticosteroid injections into her knee over the next six months. The swelling in her knee finally subsided, but inflammation was found in her jaw, and she was put on weekly injections of chemotherapy. After six months on the medication and a repeat MRI of her jaw, Emily and her family received the good news that inflammation was gone and she was in medicated remission!
Emily is six years old, in the 1st grade, and still trying to keep up with her brothers. Because of the medication she takes, some days that is easier than others. Emily says that when she grows up she wants to be “a doctor for babies in the hospital.” She and her family have participated in the Jingle Bell Run for the past three years because they want to raise awareness about JIA and help fund research to find a cure!
To support Emily, please visit her fundraising page today!