This year has brought a lot of changes for our family and unfortunately, we added two more captains to our team.
As you know, our oldest daughter Rosie has faced many difficult days with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, an auto immune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's tissues, causing inflammation in joints and other areas of the body. If left untreated irreversible damage can occur. She was diagnosed at the age of five.
Last July, London (age 5) started to show similar symptoms, which included swelling of her knees and ankle and increasing pain in everyday tasks. In a few short weeks, doctors at the Alberta Children's Hospital confirmed one of our worst nightmares. London too was diagnosed with JIA, 4 joints were affected. I'll never forget the moment London ran to Rosie excitedly and said, "Rosie, I have Arthritis too". Our middle daughter just wanting to be like her older sissy. London started meds right away and found some relief! We headed to Sicamous in August for our annual family vacation. August our happy, active three-year-old wasn't acting herself. She wanted to leave the beach most days to sleep and wasn't eating well. Not wanting to overreact, we didn’t think too much of it. A few days after arriving home, she was much worse. She was unable to walk down the stairs. Every morning her sister carried her down on her lap. August was seen immediately at the Alberta Children's Hospital and diagnosed with JIA. She was in rough shape with 8 joints effected and her little body in tremendous pain. Our world was flipped upside down. We were devastated. It felt like a dream we would never wake up from.
With daily, weekly and monthly medication our girls can live an almost normal life. The meds suppress their immune systems to fight the disease, but also come with a multitude of side affects and other symptoms. There is no cure for this disease.
I thought we were going to teach our girls how to be strong, brave and compassionate, but that's what they have tought us!
These three Amigas deserve a cure! Please consider donating!