Erin's Story

At her first Jingle Bell Run, Erin was in so much pain her friends had to push her in a stroller. Thanks to new treatments, Erin has been able to walk past the finish line the past four years. 

Erin was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) in June 2013 at the age of 11. Up until then, Erin was an active, healthy girl who participated in many different sports, dance and other activities. By August, she was no longer able to participate in any of her normal activities.  She had difficulty going up and down stairs, buckling her seatbelt and even eating. Since her diagnosis, Erin has had over 400 shots, infusions and blood draws. 

In order to understand JA and find others who understood and could relate to her, Erin became very involved with the Arthritis Foundation. While other kids her age were doing sports or playing video games, Erin was organizing her team for the Jingle Bell Run and advocating for affordable and accessible health care on Capitol Hill. 

At her first Jingle Bell Run, Erin’s friends and family had to push her in a stroller to the finish line. Now, Erin has been able to walk the past four years on her own. Her personal experience with JA and the Arthritis Foundation has inspired her to become a pediatric rheumatologist.