Sophia's Story

After years of struggling, Sophia was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease at the age of 5. Between chemo drugs and biologics, she’s a Juvenile Arthritis Warrior fighting for a cure.

Sophia is 8 years old and is living with juvenile arthritis (JA). JA attacks the muscles and joints in her body, and currently, there is no cure. For Sophia, that means treatments consist of low dose chemo drugs and biologics given by either injections or infusions. Sophia’s doctors hope these drugs suppress her immune system enough that it will stop attacking and causing irreversible damage to her joints. Without a cure, Sophia will be taking these drugs for many years.  

 Today, Sophia gets two injections each week at home. Sophia even assembles and mixes the medicine for her injections. Her mom does the actual needle prick, but Sophia is proud that she can push the medicine in and pull the needle out by herself.  

 Not only does Sophia receive injections, but she is also on another immune suppressant called a disease-modifying drug, or DMARD, which she takes twice a day. The combinations of medications are important to keep Sophia healthy and her JA in a manageable state, but she also has to have her blood drawn often to check how the medicine is affecting her body. 

 Without these powerful prescriptions, Sophia would be in pain every day. She wouldn't be able to run, jump or keep up with her friends. She wouldn’t be able to be on the cheer team that she loves, and she would have to keep using crutches or a wheelchair daily. Her treatment plan makes being a normal 8-year-old possible, but her dream is to find a cure.