As told by Kids Get Arthritis Too
Four-year-old Grant is a “happy little man who always makes people smile and loves Winnie the Pooh, cookies, music and dance,” says his mom, Staci.
In April 2007, Staci noticed that Grant started pulling at his feet in the morning. “Two weeks later, he began limping,” says Staci. After a round of appointments with pediatricians and specialists, the results were inconclusive.
“I knew a little something about juvenile arthritis, thanks to the Foundation’s website, but every time I brought it up, the doctors shot me down,” says Staci. “Finally, we were referred to a rheumatologist, who immediately diagnosed Grant with JRA.”
After two years of twice-daily medications, shots, steroids and continuous blood tests, Grant is in medical remission. “We are slowly starting to take him off the medication, and, so far, there have been no flare-ups,” says Staci.
“The day my son was diagnosed, I called the local Arthritis chapter, and they have been such a great support to me,” she said. “They helped with information on JRA and also helped me become involved in the Walks, where I have met more families just like ours.”
Staci, her four kids and a host of friends and neighbors won honors for having the largest team at the 2009 Jingle Bell Run in Virginia Beach in July. “Twice a year, I post on Myspace and Facebook and send out emails asking all the people we know to join,” she said. “I think it’s very important, not only to raise money to help the Foundation, but to get the word out about arthritis and JRA.”
Copyright 2010, Arthritis Foundation. Adapted with permission from Kids Get Arthritis Too, 2009.