Avri's Story

Avri’s just your average first grader. Even though she has pain and stiffness from JIA, she loves to attend her ballet classes, play with her brother and sisters, ride her balance bike and swim.  

Avri Keyser is 5 years old and was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) when she was just 17 months old. Her parents were shocked at the diagnosis because they didn't know that kids could get arthritis. 

Before her diagnosis, Avri went from walking to only wanting to crawl. Her knees were huge and swollen. Other affected joints included her ankles, toes, wrists and fingers. After doctors found her JIA, Avri was given chemotherapy drugs and other biologics to treat her disease. Last year, she achieved un-medicated remission, but sadly it only last four months. Just before Christmas, her arthritis started flaring again, and now Enbrel and methotrexate injections are part of her normal routine. There is currently no cure for JIA, but Avri is hopeful that there will be someday soon so she can get back to childhood without having to worry about flares.