Thank you to everyone who sent in photos of their children with JIA (and their siblings) having fun this summer. You are all truly inspirational and amazing!
JIA summer photo album
With autumn well and truly here, we thought it would be a great time to look back on happy summer memories of summer sun and summer fun!
There is no doubt that life with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) presents challenges with medication to take, physiotherapy exercises to do, lots of hospital appointments to fit in, extra hurdles to overcome at school, the variability of the pain and many more aspects that impact on day to day life.
Yet we see time and time again, that children and young people with JIA are determined to live life to the full despite the challenges that their JIA throws at them.
We wanted to celebrate children and young people with JIA having fun over the summer holidays so a huge thank you to everyone who has sent photos in for our "Summer photo album" which we are sharing here.
Many children with JIA, including those featured here, do not have a straightforward journey with JIA. Some of these children have had unexpected hospital stays, medication that hasn't worked for them, having to restart medication after a period of remission, and severe side effects from their medication. Yet here they are with smiles on their faces and, to the outside world, their condition is invisible. An important reminder to never judge and to show kindness and understanding towards others as we never know what they are going through behind the smiles.
As well as improving understanding, sharing photos like these also gives hope to those newly diagnosed with JIA. When your child first has symptoms of JIA and you know that there is something wrong, it can be a shock to discover that it is arthritis - especially if you were previously unaware that arthritis can affect children and young people. Seeing your child go from being a happy fun-loving person to being in pain and suddenly being unable to walk or struggling to hold a pen to write or any number of things that JIA can affect, you may feel worried about what the future holds.
So it is really important to know that for many children diagnosed with JIA, once the medication and treatment starts to take effect, they are able to lead very full and active lives, as these photos show.
Hope-filled, fun-filled, photos. Yes JIA can cause bad days and difficult times but despite that, it is possible to enjoy the good times too.
For anyone who has been diagnosed with JIA in the UK, don't forget that you can request one of our Little Box of Hope support packs here.
Spencer with the Gallos at Tintagel Castle.
Abbie's incredible handstands on the beach.
Learning about history.
Elsie and Max: Siblings are a huge source of support for each other when a child has JIA.
Robyn and Maizie: Sisterly love shines through with these two.
Fun on the beach.
Max demonstrating super paddleboarding skills.
Grace enjoyed a summer packed with bodyboarding adventures.
Trinity tried surfing for the first time this summer.
The simple pleasure of enjoying a quiet beach.