At 11, Bridget continues to have great results from the combination of Enbrel and methotrexate. This year was the first time she was able to compete in sports and represent her school.  In the fall, she ran cross country, which was a one-mile run.  “Each meet she got better and had gained a lot of confidence in her ability at by end of the season,” says Andy. 

But Bridget didn’t stop there – once the cross country season ended she started basketball and then volleyball.

“Through it all Bridget never had to miss a game because of her arthritis,” says Andy.  “She certainly had her moments during meets and games when she said she was hurting, but she never quit.”

Perhaps Bridget’s favorite thing to do now is to attend Camp Juvenile Arthritis and Me (JAM) in Lake Geneva, Wis., says Andy.  “She first attended camp three years ago and had a blast.” Since then, she has started each year with a countdown until the first day of camp. “Most kids do this for their birthday, but for Bridget, camp is the best part about summer,” he says.

“As parents, we are very grateful for the good health that she has enjoyed over the last few years,” says Andy.  “This would not be possible without her rheumatologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and the great medicine she takes.  She continues to be an inspiration to us of what someone can accomplish when you do not allow any obstacle to slow you down.” 


Excerpted from the Arthritis Foundation’s Raising a Child With Arthritis: A Parent’s Guide. To order a copy, click here

(Updated 2012)