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Brianna, Age 17

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Brianna

I'm a seventeen year old, who at the age of five years old was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was born premature when my mom had an aneurism, but now she is very well. I started out with a swollen ankle. I went to the doctor and he thought I fractured it so he put me in a cast. Later on, my parents noticed my right hand was swollen so I went to the doctor again and they thought I fractured it, even though I never fell or hurt myself in anyway to be in this situation; I was put in another cast. While I was dealing with two casts my mom noticed my left hand was swollen after this I was admitted to the hospital and through my blood tests the doctors found out I had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

My parents were given the worst outcome of me. The doctors told them that I wasn't going to be able to walk, and that I was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. When I was dismissed I started out with a local rheumatologist who wasn't a pediatric doctor and he put me on some strong medication that seemed for adults. After a while, my grandma’s doctor referred me to a pediatric rheumatologist in Houston, TX because where I live there aren't any pediatric rheumatologists. Since then I've been following up every three months traveling back and forth for my checkups. I personally felt at home with doctors that have helped me, thanks to my pediatric rheumatologist and his nurse practitioner. 

In my childhood, I had to grow up fast and realize what was to come. At the age of ten I was put on Enbrel, an injection that has helped me control my pain and I've been taking it for seven years now. Some mornings when I'm getting ready for school I just start crying. Some days I'm very grateful for this disease.  

Through this challenge I have fought through and pushed myself to an education. School had been a challenge for me because kids would make fun of the way I walk and call me "zombie" but I would just laugh and go along. I know I wasn't able to play sports but in school I read books and through high school I took college-credited hours with web design and accounting courses. Through elementary, teachers labeled me as a special kid that school was always going to be a struggle, but that wasn't going to stop me.

I am now a senior and graduating in the top 25% and graduating as a Texas Scholar. I volunteered to be Duchess of Carrot for a local 77th annual Citrus Parade. I am running to give an example for kids dealing with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis that anything is possible and to not be shy in trying anything.


Brianna

I'm a seventeen year old, who at the age of five years old was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was born premature when my mom had an aneurism, but now she is very well. I started out with a swollen ankle. I went to the doctor and he thought I fractured it so he put me in a cast. Later on, my parents noticed my right hand was swollen so I went to the doctor again and they thought I fractured it, even though I never fell or hurt myself in anyway to be in this situation; I was put in another cast. While I was dealing with two casts my mom noticed my left hand was swollen after this I was admitted to the hospital and through my blood tests the doctors found out I had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

My parents were given the worst outcome of me. The doctors told them that I wasn't going to be able to walk, and that I was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. When I was dismissed I started out with a local rheumatologist who wasn't a pediatric doctor and he put me on some strong medication that seemed for adults. After a while, my grandma’s doctor referred me to a pediatric rheumatologist in Houston, TX because where I live there aren't any pediatric rheumatologists. Since then I've been following up every three months traveling back and forth for my checkups. I personally felt at home with doctors that have helped me, thanks to my pediatric rheumatologist and his nurse practitioner. 

In my childhood, I had to grow up fast and realize what was to come. At the age of ten I was put on Enbrel, an injection that has helped me control my pain and I've been taking it for seven years now. Some mornings when I'm getting ready for school I just start crying. Some days I'm very grateful for this disease.  

Through this challenge I have fought through and pushed myself to an education. School had been a challenge for me because kids would make fun of the way I walk and call me "zombie" but I would just laugh and go along. I know I wasn't able to play sports but in school I read books and through high school I took college-credited hours with web design and accounting courses. Through elementary, teachers labeled me as a special kid that school was always going to be a struggle, but that wasn't going to stop me.

I am now a senior and graduating in the top 25% and graduating as a Texas Scholar. I volunteered to be Duchess of Carrot for a local 77th annual Citrus Parade. I am running to give an example for kids dealing with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis that anything is possible and to not be shy in trying anything.

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