Social media is great for a lot of things — reconnecting with old friends, finding that next job, catching up on the news and perhaps even wasting a little (a lot of!) time. But when Anna Legassie logged on back in May, she wasn’t doing any of those things. She was just trying to get her medicine.
From Excitement to Disappointment
Anna, now 31 years old, was diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when she was 11 years old. She has endured six hip surgeries, multiple hospital stays and a constantly changing cocktail of medications to keep her arthritis at bay. After a particularly difficult spring suffering through the side effects of methotrexate, she and her doctor decided to decided to try Orencia (abatacept), a biologic drug that she would would receive by infusion every four weeks. Anna had tried most of the other biologic drugs on the market. None of them had been a fit for her.
Continue reading When Failure Isn’t an Option
Arthritis, especially when it affects children, can result in having to say No to many, many things. Just getting out of bed can be a challenge, let alone battling big insurance or pharmaceutical companies to gain access to care that’s needed to manage the disease. While we do all we can to help increase the number of everyday victories, there are times when big victories are achieved in the lives of those with arthritis. And when they are, we celebrate them.
Just this past month, after a three-year-long fight, Zane Breier, who suffers from scleroderma morphea, achieved one of these victories. Last year, in the middle of his fight, Zane was our Youth Honoree for the Jingle Bell Run event in San Diego, helping raise awareness, support and funds for our collective fight against arthritis. At the same time, his condition was rapidly declining and began to spread and affect more areas of his body. Plastic surgery became a consideration, as Zane’s face, tongue and eyes were affected by his disease. He had to have gum grafts, and he and his family began to lose hope. The fight became tiring and the obstacles felt insurmountable.
Continue reading Arthritis Foundation Helps Achieve a Big Victory in One Boy’s Fight Against Arthritis