“This was a very scary time for us all… Hollie has been so brave throughout all this and I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Hollie has polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). She is 9 years old and was diagnosed in August 2021. Looking back, we actually think that Hollie’s JIA may have begun long before this as she has struggled with her left ankle since she was very young – but this was never picked up at the time as being JIA.
She was only diagnosed when her fingers started swelling and they were starting to look a strange shape like an elderly person’s fingers may look. Our GP referred us to our local hospital, who then knew to refer us to a rheumatology hub hospital – Sheffield Children’s Hospital. There, they were able to make the diagnosis of JIA straight away.
This was a very scary time for us all and because of COVID, only one parent was allowed at the hospital. Hollie’s treatment began with a steroid infusion in September which made her feel very ill. She then started on weekly methotrexate injections which we could do at home. She suffered from a side-effect of being sick with the methotrexate so we had to stop. Her next treatment was having joint injections into 20 joints. These really helped her to get the inflammation under control whilst the next treatment took effect. This was Adalimumab injections which have helped her a lot. She has also started on Sulfasalazine orally alongside her injections.
She still has bad days but Hollie always tries to do as much as she can. She cannot always take part in all the activities she would like to but we are really proud of her for taking part in her school sports day. That was amazing to watch given all that she has been through. She wants to help others too so Hollie has been raising money for Juvenile Arthritis Research by making bracelets and selling them.
She has been so brave throughout all this and I couldn’t be prouder of her.
Hollie has been one of our top fundraisers this year - thank you Hollie! If you would like to find out how to fundraise for us, please visit our fundraising hub.
If you are concerned that a child or young person may have JIA and would like to know more, please visit www.thinkjia.org
Hollie has been making bracelets to raise funds for Juvenile Arthritis Research.