Hi! I'm Julia! When I was 2, my right knee swelled up, and I was in a lot of pain. After a lot of testing, we found out that I was diagnosed with a thing called JRA or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. My right knee caused my whole right leg to grow 1 1/2 inches longer than my left. From then on I had to wear special shoes with a lift for my shorter leg. I had to take medicine and I was even in the hospital so they could treat me. A while later, the same thing happened again, but this time in my left knee. Oddly this time there was no pain, but my left leg grew to be the same length as my right. (No more lift!) My doctors had me go to physical therapy for a long time and I was not allowed to run, jump or play any sports until I was 7 years old. Now, I enjoy playing soccer as a very aggressive forward, love to swim in my backyard, play a little golf, play ping pong with my family, go skiing in Mammoth, go camping, and never stop running! Nothing is ever going to stop me from living my very active life, not even my JRA! Sometimes playing soccer in the cold weather causes my JRA to flare up in my knees and ankles. OUCH! I have to take Advil for my knees and ankles, but then once the medicine kicks in I'm O.K. One advantage of my JRA is when it's starting to get cold, or it will be cold the next day, my knees will start to ache and "moan" That's when I know its going to get cold soon. My parents call me the family thermometer! I have to be careful, and I have a lot of wonderful doctors who look after me. I have gotten to the point with my JRA that I only have to see them once a year. My JRA causes me to be at risk for eye disease so I am good at seeing my eye doctor every 4 months. In the end, sometimes my arthritis keeps me from doing what I want, but I power through the pain and live MY life the way I want to live it!