Kelsey was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at 9. She had constant pain and swelling in almost every joint in her body. As an athlete, she’s determined to never let JIA stop her.
Kelsey was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) at the age of 9. She had constant knee pain and swelling. After many tests and surgery, Dr. Kimura at Hackensack Hospital, determined she had JIA in almost every joint in her body.
As an athlete, Kelsey was determined to never let arthritis slow her down or define her. Throughout the years, she’s been on numerous medications and currently gives herself weekly shots.
Over the years, she has received multiple injections for the pain and inflammation in her temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is part of her jaw. In September 2014, arthritis had destroyed so much of the joint that she could barely open her mouth. As a recent college graduate who had just started her first teaching position, Kelsey decided to have a TMJ replacement in hopes of repairing her jaw. Since that time, Kelsey has made a full recovery and exceeded her doctor’s expectations of regaining full range of motion in her TMJ.
The Arthritis Foundation has been a huge resource in Kelsey’s journey with JIA. She’s attended the New Jersey conferences, family picnics and Camp CHAT. In the last few years, Kelsey had the opportunity to come back to Camp CHAT as a peer group leader and camp coordinator. Her journey with JIA hasn’t always been the easy, but she continues to stay active every day and does her best to keep it under control.