"For the first time in two and a half years there was some joy and a new hope that I could live a normal life doing the things I enjoy."
I was 16 when I was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), after a year or so of trying to find answers to explain the pain and swelling I was experiencing.
I am 31 now and still living with it!! Not a day goes by without me wondering what the next day will bring with the JIA or worrying about my limits.
I have been lucky in that it hasn't affected my eyes so far, but my journey has had its ups and downs. With the help and support of my family, friends and medical professionals, I've learnt to live with it and adapt my life. It's not easy living with JIA but with a little help and support and a bit of adaptation we can go on, achieve our goals and live our best lives!!
When I was young I always wanted to be an author and see a book with my name on it. Having JIA has helped me achieve that. In the last few years I have put pen to paper and, with great difficulty, revisited my JIA journey to put together a book that I hope will help others with JIA and those living with someone who has JIA.
Although the story is a fictional one, it draws on my real experiences of being diagnosed with JIA and living with JIA and goes into a lot more detail about my JIA journey.
Written by Liz, an adult with JIA.
You can find out more about Liz's book and purchase a copy here (We've read it and very much enjoyed it).
If you are concerned that a child or young person may have JIA and would like to know more, please visit www.thinkjia.org