Meredith’s Story 

Being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as a teen hasn’t stopped Meredith Boyd. She’s an award-winning makeup artist on a mission to encourage fellow Arthritis Warriors to live boldly. 

Meredith’s story with arthritis began when she was 15 years old and was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Throughout her childhood, she was surrounded by music and art. She was the lead clarinetist in concert and marching band, enjoyed painting art and was on her high school dance team. When she was 15, that all came to a screeching halt. For a few weeks, she alarmingly noticed her right knee was stiff and swollen. One morning, Meredith woke up with her knee so swollen that she collapsed getting out of bed. There was so much fluid in her knee that she couldn’t bear any weight on it.  

 After numerous appointments with her pediatrician, a rheumatologist and an orthopedic surgeon, blood tests and MRI results revealed she had JRA.  After repeated knee aspirations and rounds of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs failed, she had arthroscopic surgery to remove the synovial lining in her knee, which removes the damage arthritis left behind.   

  At age 25, her arthritis aggressively attacked her left foot, and she underwent rounds of cortisone injections, physical therapy and ultimately endured sesamoidectomy surgery to remove a painful, diseased bone. Since then, Meredith has been in chronic pain in her back, hips, shoulders and elbows. After years of trial and error, Meredith and her rheumatologist now re-evaluate her medication regimen every three months, and she combats the daily pain with dry needling, weight training and massage therapy.   

  Despite her setbacks and painful days, Meredith leads a booming career as an award-winning makeup artist for television and works with iconic media personalities and celebrities nationwide. She is also the founder of her own makeup line, Meredith Boyd Cosmetics, and was crowned Ms. Georgia in 2008.   

  “I’m in pain all day, every day, since I was 15. That was 29 years ago,” says Meredith. “Arthritis doesn’t take a day off – and neither do I. It’s my mission to encourage others who are newly diagnosed and to conquer this crippling disease by partnering with my friends at the Arthritis Foundation. We are all warriors in this together. I’m fighting for you and fighting for a cure.”