Gia's Story

While 3-year-old Gia doesn’t really understand her struggle with juvenile arthritis, she knows she gets shots and goes to the doctor a lot. She remembers that she used to limp. 

Gia Filizetti has always been an active, loving and happy young girl. The moment that changed, her parents became very worried. When Gia was 2, her parents started noticing that she was going through some physical and emotional changes. She began limping, walking slowly and favoring her left leg. Gia started sleeping more than usual and suddenly became very needy. She was no longer able to physically keep up with children her age.  

After only a couple of weeks, her symptoms became significantly worse and she was no longer able to walk to the bathroom in the morning. After multiple doctor visits, x-rays, blood panels and lots of tears, she was finally referred to Rady Children's Hospital. 

In her first appointment with Dr. Radhakrishna, Gia was immediately diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) due to inflammation in more than five of her joints. After another appointment with the ophthalmology department, it was confirmed that Gia also presented with inflammation in her eyes and was diagnosed with uveitis. Due to the surprisingly fast progression of her symptoms, her young age and the decrease in the quality of her life, her doctor recommended that Gia be treated quickly and aggressively. 

Gia’s parents were in shock and denial. They did extensive research and decided to be as strong as possible for their daughter. Before Gia was even 3, she began receiving weekly Humira shots and doses of methotrexate to help combat her inflammation. In addition, she was prescribed steroid drops for her eyes to prevent her uveitis from causing blindness. 

The journey has not been easy on Gia or her parents. But thankfully, her treatment planned has worked, and she is officially in remission. She is walking, jumping, doing ballet and riding a bike. An outsider would never look at Gia and know that she struggles with JIA. Even Gia still does not understand. She knows that she gets shots. She knows that she needs medications. She knows that she meets with her doctors a lot, and she remembers that she used to limp. But other than that, she is no different than any other preschooler. 
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Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

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Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

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Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

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Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

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Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

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More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

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Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.