Tag Archives: juvenile arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis Siblings

A Different Kind of Champion: Payton Goes Above and Beyond to Care for Her Sister with Juvenile Arthritis

Payton and Jayden Ghesquiere do all the things you might expect sisters to do: Play with dolls and Legos, go swimming, make up games together, and even occasionally argue. While Payton and Jayden may look normal to outsiders, their relationship is very different than most sisters their age. You see, Jayden was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) three years ago when she was just five years old. That means that Payton, who is only seven years old now, has lived over half her life helping and caring for Jayden. Because of JA, Payton is more than a just sister, serving as Jayden’s caretaker and best friend.

JA is challenge for all families, and it can take an especially hard toll on siblings. Payton spends time pushing Jayden in her wheelchair, and their playtime is often cut short when Jayden becomes tired. Despite the challenges, Payton remains incredibly positive and supportive, attending almost every doctor, therapy and lab work appointment with her sister. “Payton has graciously stepped up, helped out, and sat on the sidelines,” says Payton’s mother, Karrie. “She has done all this without complaint for over three years.”
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Juvenile Arthritis Kids Hope Video

Kids With Juvenile Arthritis Share Their “Greatest Hopes”

Although many people think of arthritis as an older person’s disease, arthritis affects people of all ages, including children. In fact, an estimated 300,000 children are living with juvenile arthritis. Each year, we bring JA kids and families together at our annual Juvenile Arthritis Conference to share their experiences, spend time with other kids and families like them, and ultimately, to instill a sense of hope and optimism that the Arthritis Foundation is here to support them in their journey to live their best lives.

The theme for this year’s Juvenile Arthritis Conference which took place in Orlando last month was “Hope Grows Here,” and boy did we see that theme come to life. The kids and families that attended the 2015 JA Conference brought such an energy and optimistic spirit to the event, despite the fact that each day, they live with a disease that has the ability to limit that energy and spirit. We asked our JA kids, “What’s your biggest hope, despite living with arthritis?” Check out the video below to learn more about the fantastic hopes and dreams of just a few of the hundreds of thousands of children across the country living with juvenile arthritis:

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JA Conference Spotlight

Hope Grows Here at Juvenile Arthritis Conference 2015

On July 23, families will make their way to Orlando, Florida, for the 2015 Juvenile Arthritis Conference. It’s an unforgettable annual family event, where more than a thousand kids, teens and young adults with arthritis, and their parents and siblings, come together to meet, learn and play.

“Hope Grows Here,” the theme for this year’s event, is all about hope and creating more moments of Yes! What’s your greatest hope? We asked this of kids from all over. “No more pain, no more swelling, no more shots, a cure for arthritis” captures many of the responses we received. Our Juvenile Arthritis Conference offers a chance for families to meet others who are going through similar challenges; they share stories, learn about the latest treatments and research, and strategies for managing daily activities and developmental and social issues. Most will tell you it is even more than that. By the end of the four-day conference, “hope” will have grown in kids and their families. Friendships will be formed, smiles shared, memories created, which will last a lifetime – and everyone will be counting the days until the next Juvenile Arthritis Conference happens.

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