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Please support The Arthritis Society and our team!
On Sunday, June 4, 2017, our team is participating in the Walk to Fight Arthritis. We are walking for Rosie!
Rosie was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in April 2016, when she was six years old.
Rosie woke up one morning with a very swollen knee and could barley walk. We continually asked her if she had fallen or injured herself. She said, "No, it just always hurts". After many trips to the ER for painful procedures and no real answers, we left with the prescription naproxen. It wasn't helping the pain or swelling and 6 weeks later we were referred to the rheumatology department at the Alberta children's hospital. They examined Rosie head to toe and gave us the devastating diagnose of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). JIA is an auto immune disease where her immune system is mistakenly attacking the lining of her joints causing pain, swelling and damage. It was not only in her knee, they also found it in her wrist, ankle and foot. During her exam, they found that the effected leg had grown longer than the other. She may had been suffering for a lot longer then we thought. Our poor girl was in pain all the time and didn't know any better. This is why she never came to us and complained of it. They immediately ordered some injections that are made in the USA to help ease the swelling and pain. We waited for 3 weeks for them to come in. She was tired, could barley walk and not run at all. She was in constant pain. The injections arrived and she was booked to be put under to receive them. They immediately made a difference. Her movement and pain was much better. About 3 months later, the arthritis was back. This time it was present in both knees, wrist, ankles, foot and some fingers and toes. Methotrexate is what the doctor suggested for our next steps. We need to avoid joint damage, she needs these joints her whole life. Most people know Methotrexate as a chemo therapy drug. To stop Rosie's immune system from attacking herself, we need to lower her immunity, hence the need for chemo therapy medication. The dose is half of what it would be for cancer treatment. She took it for months and months and it didn't seem to be helping. Her arthritis was stubborn. The doctor suggested we add biologics treatment. We decided to go with a trial drug that is administered through infusion monthly then bi-monthly in the day unit at the children's hospital. After a few months on the biologics, she was finally feeling some relief! This disease is a guessing game, never knowing if or when it's going to come back and flare up. This girl has had more pain, tests and hospital visits then any child should ever have to endure. We are thankful for all of the medication and treatments she receives, however we need to find a cure!
You can make a difference and help researchers search for improved treatments by making a donation to any of our team members. Together, with your support, we can reach our fundraising goal for this very important cause.