Niki's Story

After living with arthritis for much of her life, Niki is dedicated to helping others just like her. As a joint replacement nurse, she helps her patients find relief and hope for the future. 

Niki is always on the run. From being a mom of twins to a full-time joint replacement nurse to a dance teacher, she rarely slows down. But there was a time in her life that she wasn’t sure any of this was even possible.   


At 13, she began a long week racking up various symptoms. What seemed quite benign quickly turned into something more serious. Luckily, she was surrounded by an incredible support system who didn’t stop until they got some answers. Within a year, she had a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis, a rheumatologist and a treatment plan. She feels very lucky and so thankful for her family and doctors that pushed until a plan was in place. 


After another flare in high school, Niki realized how invisible arthritis is to most people. Part of her wanted to help others with her disease, but she wasn’t even sure how many other people lived with arthritis. When she realized that she really did want to dedicate her life to helping others with painful joints, she applied to nursing school. She has been a nurse on the joint replacement floor at Our Lady of the Lake for 10 years. She finds comfort in being able to look someone in the eye and honestly tell them she knows how they feel. They never believe her. Then they look at her fingers.  


Niki recently began working with the arthritis community outside of the hospital walls. She has been a presenting speaker at JA Family Days and has attended the Walk to Cure Arthritis for two years. Now that her two little girls are off and running, she looks forward to building her RA village and bettering the lives of those touched by the different forms of arthritis in Baton Rouge and beyond.