We're a proud sponsor of the Arthritis Foundation and strive to spread awareness about arthritis throughout the year. During Arthritis Month in May, the Foundation honors amazing people like these who live with arthritis.
August is the son of Samantha an Alex Spears. He is 21 months old and loves dancing, singing, bath time and Disney movies. After nearly a month of ongoing and nearly constant high fevers (up to 105.2) and a horrible rash, August was diagnosed with Systemic JIA when he was just 5 months old. He is currently battling some type of lung involvement. August receives bi-weekly infusions and is on continuous flow oxygen 24/7. It is heartbreaking that he can't play around other children or at indoor play areas. Samantha and Alex say they love the walk and that everyone is gathered to help find a cure. They feel the support of everyone rooting for their baby to get well. They want people to know how serious JIA can be and that "Yes, kids can get it too!"
Lily is the daughter of Christina and Kyle Warner. She is 4 years old and has a 7 year old brother. She loves playing with her baby dolls and dancing. Lily was diagnosed at age 18 months with JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) in both knees and ankles. Lily currently takes weekly injections to keep her arthritis under control. This is the third year her family has participated in the Walk to Cure Arthritis and each year they have more people join and support Lily. Most of their family lives in New York so to have them come here to join them at the Walk is incredible. They feel it is something they can do to show Lily that she is not alone in this journey. Lily's team name is "Love for Lily".
Ellie is engaged to be married and works at Southern Air Inc. She is an IT Operation Specialist. Her favorite activities are wake surfing, wakeboarding and quilting. Ellie was diagnosed at age 11 with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Ellie's fingers were really swollen and her family knew something was wrong. For the most part, medication is keeping Ellie's arthritis under control, except for issues she is having with her right ankle. Ellie said it really boosts her morale when she sees so many at the Walk to support those with arthritis and to help try to find a cure. She would like others to know that it can be painful but that you have to stay active. Also, keep working with your doctor to find the medication that will work for you and get your arthritis under control. Ellie's team is "The Stiff Legs".
Jessica is married with two children and is a stay at home mom. Jessica loves spending time with her family and camping. Jessica was diagnosed with Takayasu's arteritis in 2014 at the age of 34. Her arteritis affects the carotid arteries, vertebral, subclavian and innominate artery. She has stenosis and a small aneurism. She was also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Jessica still struggles with migraines, fatigue, weakness in her arms, joint pain and shortness of breath. She is currently taking a biologic. Jessica would like to tell those newly diagnosed to learn as much as you can about your disease and be your own advocate.
Learn more information about the Arthritis Foundation and check out more incredible stories!