I am a young adult living with arthritis. I am also a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend. I love to cook, and to eat, ride my bike, and go on adventures. And although I have arthritis, it does not have me.
As a teenager I was a gymnast training to represent BC at the National Championships. Following an infection, I had flare ups of pain - one day I couldn’t raise my arm, the next day my ankle was sore and swollen. I had constant fatigue, pain in my wrists, fingers, and many of my joints. I was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at age 16. This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells causing inflammation.
Throughout my teenage years and 20’s I have tried many medications including methotrexate – a chemotherapy drug, and other anti inflammatory medications. I retired from gymnastics as the pain and fatigue prevented me from pursuing an athletic scholarship to the USA. Since starting biologic medications I began to feel much better, my pain became manageable, my energy improved, my morning stiffness decreased. My family calls these medications “liquid gold” as they cost around $1600 per month, but they made a life changing difference for me. With my medication, physiotherapy, and connecting with others with arthritis through the Arthritis Society - I learned how to do back flips in my head rather than on the floor. I began my education with aspirations of a career in health care. I am now working as a physiotherapist helping people to overcome barriers to reach their personal goals. Here I meet many people of all ages with different conditions including people with arthritis. Yes kids get arthritis too!
With your funding there will be research desperately needed for furthering new medications and treatments as well as educational resources to help manage arthritis. Throughout my journey I have learned that even though I still have pain and there may be dark times ahead, I can use my experiences to empower others living with arthritis. With your help children and adults with arthritis will have the opportunity to learn more about their disease and access treatments which can allow them to truly be who they are, free from the boundaries of 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!
If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.