Phoebe's Story

Not long ago, 20-month-old Phoebe had trouble walking and getting out of bed. New treatments are helping manage her juvenile arthritis pain and inflammation, and she’s finally able to be a kid. 

Phoebe Katayanagi is a sweet, 20-month-old girl, who loves cuddling with her mom, being silly with dad and getting into her big sister’s Legos.  Her favorite things are her blankie, reading about dogs and watching “Sesame Street.” Not long ago, Phoebe struggled to walk. Juvenile arthritis caused inflammation throughout her whole body. It was in her joints and even affected her eyes.  

Under anesthesia, Phoebe had steroid joint injections, which brought her so much relief.  The day she got out of her bed on her own felt like a miracle.  Her mom cried watching her go down a slide by herself for the first time, just like any toddler should be able to do. 

Phoebe’s parents have also had to learn how to administer weekly injections at home. They learned how to get a feisty, fussy toddler to cooperate with eye drops by acting them out with stuffed animals and blowing bubbles afterwards. 
 
Although they are still very new to this diagnosis, they feel like they are getting stronger.  And strongest of all is Phoebe, who still manages to be an adorable, fun-loving toddler.