My name is Rachel Gehue. I'm a 23 year old Biochemistry student studying at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, from St. John's, Newfoundland. I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 14 years old. In the last 9 years, my arthritis has spread from my fingers, to my wrists, elbows, jaw, knees, and ankles.
I travel to Toronto every 3 months to see specialist Dr. Edward Keystone. I am also followed by my rheumatologist Dr. Proton Rahman in Newfoundland. The two of these AMAZING doctors have made major improvements to my arthritis and my quality of life, but not without complications.
I am about to begin my sixth biologic since failing Enbrel, Humira, Orencia, Actemra, and Xeljanz.
In 2015 I had my right wrist fused, in 2017 an arthroplasty on my left elbow, and just this month a talonavicular joint fusion of my right ankle.
I am still a work in progress. And so are more than 6 million Canadians. Often times it is incredibly challenging to find the right treatment that will work. It can take a lot of trial and error which in turn can take a great toll on one's body and one's quality of life. Arthritis is something that cannot always be seen or that is not always thought to be associated with children and young adults.
It is an extremely debilitating disease that can have major permanent effects on the body. For me, even the simple task of brushing my teeth is sometimes too painful for me to do on my own.
"As the prevalence of arthritis increases, so does the demand for investment into cutting-edge research, proactive advocacy and innovative information and support that will deliver better health outcomes for people affected by arthritis.
This year the Walk for Arthritis is celebrating its 10th year - help make this the best year ever by joining the Walk for Arthritis community and supporting this important cause!"
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