Tiffany was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when she was in the sixth grade. She’d lived with knee pain for a while, but it wasn’t until a trip to see her brother and his wife in Edmonton that she and her mom considered it could be arthritis. Sitting in the car, wearing shorts and her feet up on the dash, they could see Tiffany’s knees were the size of small squishy dodgeballs.
Her brother’s wife took to her to the ER in Edmonton. Although it took two weeks for a confirmed diagnosis, Tiffany had her knees drained twice without any anaesthesia to ease the symptoms, what she recalls as “probably the worst pain I have felt in my life”.
Tiffany joined the Walk for Arthritis committee in Victoria this year to give back to the Arthritis Society and her community. “Arthritis is such a huge part of my identity,” she says. “This year, research is focused on juvenile arthritis, which is near and dear to my heart. I chose to walk this year to support the cause because I know what it’s like to live with juvenile arthritis. It’s a pain I don’t want others to experience.”
It’s now 10 years since her first diagnosis, and Tiffany leads an active, normal life. She kickboxes weekly and often hikes or swims in the natural wonders of Vancouver Island. “There are some days I find it hard to get out of bed, but overall I consider myself lucky because of the amazing support system I have.”
There is no cure for arthritis – a painful and devastating disease - that is why I am participating in the Walk for Arthritis.
Today, more than 6 million Canadians are affected by arthritis. These numbers are only going to increase. By 2035, 1 in 4 Canadians will have arthritis. That means you or your wife, your mother or your brother just may have arthritis.
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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