We believe that children should be free to run and play games, to draw and paint, and to dream and write stories.
We believe that a child’s ambition, hopes, and dreams should not be limited by Arthritis.
By bringing together forward-thinking community-minded business leaders we’ll create a fun art inspired 10K run/walk with the potential to raise over $250,000 in support of patient care, research, and scholarships for SickKids Rheumatology.
And we’ll do this by hosting a unique and engaging running event set in picturesque Boyd Conservation Area (Kleinburg, ON) with a VIP finish at the incomparable McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
I Refuse to Let JIA Stop me from Doing What I want to Do
by Jenna Nicholson
My name is Jenna and I’m in Grade 9. I was first diagnosed with JIA in Grade 4. It happened so suddenly. I woke up one morning and one knee was swollen as if I had torn something. My parents thought it was something like that and the swelling would subside. The problem was that I could barely walk. It was early Fall and my walks and/or bikes to school had to be drives. The worst was in the morning, right after I woke up, I had to basically slide down the stairs while in a sitting motion. I was diagnosed with JIA about a month later.
Since being diagnosed I have learned to live with JIA and not allowed it to take over my life. I like doing things. My favourite sports are skiing and canoeing. I ski race in the winter and canoe race in the Summer. There are times that my knees are screaming in pain during my sports. However, when competing in a race, all the pain goes away (or is just incorporated into the typical pain one feels when racing, or I forget about it in the heat of the moment).
I do not like talking about JIA with my friends, classmates, and teammates. I don’t want to be treated differently. I find it hardest living with JIA when it comes to gym class or running as a fitness activity for the canoe team. There are days my knees hurt just too much to run. Somehow, I force myself to do it albeit slowly and painfully, or I’ll bike and won’t feel happy about it.
Every second week I must have an injection of Humera to treat my JIA. This is one of the hardest parts for me since I hate getting a needle. My parents have made it a bit easier by having a system that gives me a reward for every needle I get. My Dad calls it a “Victory Needle” because it will help control my JIA and let me train harder.
My advice to other that have JIA is this: embrace it and do whatever makes you happy. So, on the hardest days with the most pain, be brave and do whatever you feel is necessary to get through it.
How we help the doctors and staff in Rheumatology
As the leading pediatric rheumatology hospital in the world, SickKids hosts Fellows who come to Toronto to study and learn from their staff and to perform research. With the additional funds the Rheumatology Department can purchase data saving valuable time and support the costs of collection of data via their own studies. Additionally, SickKids is also able to fund external learning opportunities and collaborative conferences for occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, and doctors providing an opportunity to share and learn best practices. All these opportunities put SickKids at the leading edge of patient care and help create better lives for the children they treat.
Thank you for helping us achieve our goal of healthier and happier children.