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Timolen P.L., Age 17

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Timolen P.L.

I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was 14. It started in my toes. My parents took me to the hospital and the doctors just gave me antibiotics. The pain then went to my knee, elbow, fingers, wrists and my ankle. It affected my right ankle so badly that I couldn't even walk. I stayed home for one year without attending school. My mom and I kept going to the hospital and the doctor suspected that I had JRA, so he took my blood, tested it and it was positive for JRA. Since then, they have given me pain killers just to reduce the pain.

This year, my condition worsened and my mom took me to the hospital again and a doctor gave me a Voltaren shot and prednisone tablets. I took them until it was all finished and the pain came back. Since I was diagnosed with JRA, I have become very lonely. I don’t have many friends to hang out with. I don’t participate in any sports because of the pain. I hardly hang out with my cousins or have sleepovers with them. I am too scared to play and have fun with my siblings because my joints hurt so badly. I feel left out of everything. But one thing I’m thankful for is my loving and caring family that God has blessed me with. They encourage me to be strong and do their best to ensure that I live a normal life. And I thank kids who have shared their stories. It has really encouraged me and shown me that I'm not alone.

In my country of Papua New Guinea, the medical condition I have, although common, is rarely discussed due to a lack of proper specialists, health care and medication.

For a victim of JRA to be properly managed, a specialist’s care is required, however in Papua New Guinea we don’t have such specialists. They can only be found overseas in neighboring countries like Australia and Philippines. And for one to travel overseas for treatment, it is a very expensive. But my loving family has not given up. They have embarked on raising funds to allow me travel overseas for further treatment so I may be given the chance to play and dance like before. Faith is all I have left and only God knows my heart.

We should never doubt ourselves, but instead have faith that we are all going to be OK, even if they don't find a cure.

Posted Aug. 15, 2014


Timolen P.L.

I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was 14. It started in my toes. My parents took me to the hospital and the doctors just gave me antibiotics. The pain then went to my knee, elbow, fingers, wrists and my ankle. It affected my right ankle so badly that I couldn't even walk. I stayed home for one year without attending school. My mom and I kept going to the hospital and the doctor suspected that I had JRA, so he took my blood, tested it and it was positive for JRA. Since then, they have given me pain killers just to reduce the pain.

This year, my condition worsened and my mom took me to the hospital again and a doctor gave me a Voltaren shot and prednisone tablets. I took them until it was all finished and the pain came back. Since I was diagnosed with JRA, I have become very lonely. I don’t have many friends to hang out with. I don’t participate in any sports because of the pain. I hardly hang out with my cousins or have sleepovers with them. I am too scared to play and have fun with my siblings because my joints hurt so badly. I feel left out of everything. But one thing I’m thankful for is my loving and caring family that God has blessed me with. They encourage me to be strong and do their best to ensure that I live a normal life. And I thank kids who have shared their stories. It has really encouraged me and shown me that I'm not alone.

In my country of Papua New Guinea, the medical condition I have, although common, is rarely discussed due to a lack of proper specialists, health care and medication.

For a victim of JRA to be properly managed, a specialist’s care is required, however in Papua New Guinea we don’t have such specialists. They can only be found overseas in neighboring countries like Australia and Philippines. And for one to travel overseas for treatment, it is a very expensive. But my loving family has not given up. They have embarked on raising funds to allow me travel overseas for further treatment so I may be given the chance to play and dance like before. Faith is all I have left and only God knows my heart.

We should never doubt ourselves, but instead have faith that we are all going to be OK, even if they don't find a cure.

Posted Aug. 15, 2014

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