Through all the pain, swelling and treatments, Shelby remains positive and doesn’t let her juvenile arthritis diagnosis stop her. Shelby loves to advocate for her invisible illness and service dogs.
When Shelby woke up with extremely swollen hands and feet, a pediatric nurse who was a friend of the family suggested they have the doctor run tests to check for juvenile arthritis. The bloodwork indicated a problem and Shelby’s pediatrician referred her to a pediatric rheumatologist at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Shelby was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Since her diagnosis, Shelby has also been diagnosed with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome (AMPS), dysautonomia and complex regional pain syndrome.
Through all the pain, swelling, multiple doctor visits and treatments, Shelby remains positive and doesn’t let her diagnosis stop her. She is currently a senior in high school and loves dancing, writing, listening to her vinyl records and applying makeup. Shelby also enjoys playing, snuggling and shopping with her skilled companion service dog, Lex. She loves to advocate for her invisible illness and service dogs.
After Shelby graduates from high school, she wants to continue her education at Clarke University, with hopes of becoming a sports therapist.