Lana’s Story

Lana was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 3 years old. Over the years, she’s seen many specialists to help control her JRA. She’s a budding actress and singer with a can-do attitude. 

When Lana was 3, she fell very hard on her knee. When the swelling didn't go away after six weeks, her parents took her to the doctor. He recommended blood tests and diagnosed Lana with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).  
Lana visited a pediatric rheumatologist who found more affected joints. Over time, several affected joints were discovered and countless trips to specialists became part of her normal routine.  

Two years ago, Lana has the chance to attend camp at The Painted Turtle for the first time. This camp is tailored to children with chronic illnesses and promotes independence and community. Lana now looks forward to it every summer.  

“It’s nice to meet other kids who also have JRA and have to take medications,” says Lana. “It’s a place where you never see a sad face. I even made friends that I text and talk to on my dad’s phone all year. I can’t wait to see them again this summer!” 

Building a community helps families living with juvenile arthritis find support and resources. The Arthritis Foundation puts together many fun events for kids with arthritis. One of Lana’s highlights this past year was the Zoo Snooze, where she got to camp under the stars at the zoo and see animals like lions and giraffes up close.