At the age of 9 I can remember my knees swelling so bad they would dislocate. My family took me to several orthopedic surgeons through the following years who would drain my knees and dismiss me as an "oddball". The pain from the swelling would get so bad I couldn't walk.
Finally, 13 years later, a wonderful orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Ted Crawford, tested me for JRA and sure enough, I had the disease. I was immediately sent to a wonderful Rheumatologist, Dr. Emily Isaacs.
Since I started treatment, I have completed 11 half marathons and 1 full. I have been inspired to start a foundation called “Just Run Already!” which benefits children with JRA by providing funding for treatment, education and get-togethers with other children with JRA.
JRA is not a life sentence, it's something to overcome and conquer.