Zachary’s journey with JRA has been full of peaks and valleys since his diagnosis in August of 2017 at the age of 4. Just this past October, he was doing so well that his rheumatologist told his family he was on the path to medical remission – news that his family shared with us in December. Just when his family thought they were in the clear, two months later, Zach was back to being stiff and swollen. Only this time, it was in his neck as well. Another visit to the rheumatologist gave us the news that not only was he having a flare-up, but it had spread to his neck. As parents said “we were heartbroken and felt defeated because he was doing so well. But sometimes, that’s just how it goes with this disease. One step forward, two steps back.” A few months ago, Zach was happily running around. He’s still happy and running, albeit at a much slower and stiffer pace. His mother Laura shared “Lately our days are spent arguing with him to eat his veggies and sneaking turmeric into homemade popsicles that are full of anti-inflammatory fruits.”
Zach’s family helps him find relief by massaging his achy joints and running extra warm showers when he’s in pain. Laura said “Right now, we are in a valley with Zach. It’s the biggest one we’ve faced so far but I am hopeful we will peak again. I want to be able to look back at this time and marvel at how far he’s come, how much stronger he is. And I am confident we will get there. In the meantime, we will continue to take it day by day”.
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