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Anna Grace, Age 13

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Anna Grace

I was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis three years ago, but it all started long before that. I was having so much pain I didn't even know what to do. I was literally crawling out of bed every morning I was so stiff and having so much pain. We had been to multiple pediatric doctors but they all just kept dismissing it as growing pains.

Then, one day, I sat down in PE and I couldn't stand back up. I was taken to the after-hours clinic where they had me scheduled for an MRI. The results showed I had fluid in my hip. The doctors insisted I had injured it, but both my family and me knew I had done nothing. The pain just kept getting stronger.

Finally, my mom insisted that we have tests done from my pediatric doctor. When the test came back positive, meaning it was either juvenile arthritis or lupus, the doctor thought it was just a fluke and told us to wait six months. My mom told him that we couldn't wait six months because I could barely get out of bed as it was! Finally, we got a second opinion and went to a rheumatologist, where I was finally diagnosed.

Since my diagnosis, I have been through several medications, some of which stopped working. The disease is stressful and difficult because one day everything's great and I feel fine and the next day I turn around and the medicines have stopped working and I have to try something new. I have the most painful form of juvenile arthritis and I have good days and bad days. I miss school one day every four weeks to go to the hospital to get an infusion. As much as I hate the medicines and pain, I love the opportunities it brings me, including meeting kids my age who share the same disease, going to Camp MASH (a juvenile arthritis camp), and traveling around the United States every year for conferences. Most of these opportunities were brought to me through the Arthritis Foundation. I was chosen to be a Jingle Bell Run honoree for 2014!

My main thing to take from this disease is to help others who share this disease. I want to find a cure not only for me, but also for every other kid who is affected by juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). 

A cure would also help me achieve my lifelong goal of becoming a Crimsonette at the University of Alabama!

Posted Aug. 22, 2014


Anna Grace

I was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis three years ago, but it all started long before that. I was having so much pain I didn't even know what to do. I was literally crawling out of bed every morning I was so stiff and having so much pain. We had been to multiple pediatric doctors but they all just kept dismissing it as growing pains.

Then, one day, I sat down in PE and I couldn't stand back up. I was taken to the after-hours clinic where they had me scheduled for an MRI. The results showed I had fluid in my hip. The doctors insisted I had injured it, but both my family and me knew I had done nothing. The pain just kept getting stronger.

Finally, my mom insisted that we have tests done from my pediatric doctor. When the test came back positive, meaning it was either juvenile arthritis or lupus, the doctor thought it was just a fluke and told us to wait six months. My mom told him that we couldn't wait six months because I could barely get out of bed as it was! Finally, we got a second opinion and went to a rheumatologist, where I was finally diagnosed.

Since my diagnosis, I have been through several medications, some of which stopped working. The disease is stressful and difficult because one day everything's great and I feel fine and the next day I turn around and the medicines have stopped working and I have to try something new. I have the most painful form of juvenile arthritis and I have good days and bad days. I miss school one day every four weeks to go to the hospital to get an infusion. As much as I hate the medicines and pain, I love the opportunities it brings me, including meeting kids my age who share the same disease, going to Camp MASH (a juvenile arthritis camp), and traveling around the United States every year for conferences. Most of these opportunities were brought to me through the Arthritis Foundation. I was chosen to be a Jingle Bell Run honoree for 2014!

My main thing to take from this disease is to help others who share this disease. I want to find a cure not only for me, but also for every other kid who is affected by juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). 

A cure would also help me achieve my lifelong goal of becoming a Crimsonette at the University of Alabama!

Posted Aug. 22, 2014

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