Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
At 19 months old, began walking with a limp and having difficulty standing in the mornings. After a month of doctors, x-rays, and blood work, she was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in her right knee, ankle, and pinky toe when she was 20 months old. She started NSAIDs and physical therapy, and she received a knee aspiration and steroid injection. Abby went into remission 7 months later.
Over the years, Abby had minor flares but never needed more than NSAIDs to get the arthritis under control. After attending the JA Conferences, she learned that other kids with arthritis aren’t as fortunate as she had been. She started becoming more interested in the fundraising her mom did for her Walk team and became an advocate for others with arthritis, attending the Advocacy Summit and Ambassador Assembly in DC and Capitol Days in Harrisburg.
In September 2017, Abby developed uveitis. She was fortunate again. She had symptoms with her uveitis, and it responded quickly to steroid eye drops. Unfortunately, every time she went off the drops, her uveitis would flare again within two months.
In April 2018, Abby had another flare. This flare resulted in tendonitis in her foot and ankle. Unfortunately, NSAIDs now caused Abby to experience abdominal pains, so she was limited to Tylenol and heat for treatment.
Then in June 2018, Abby was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and her team decided that it was time to start an immunosuppressive drug which she responded very well to. In fact, she realized that she always had underlying pain that she thought was normal until it went away.
Today, Abby is 9 years old. Through it all, Abby remains joyful and positive. She knows that everybody has something and reminds herself when she feels bad that tomorrow will be a better day.
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