An early arthritis diagnosis may help save Piper’s eyesight and keep her active. Thanks to her doctors, her family and the support of the Arthritis Foundation, she’s fighting hard against her disease.
Piper was diagnosed with oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) on April 26, 2018, just three weeks before the 2018 Walk to Cure Arthritis. In that short time, family and friends rallied to support her team, Piper's Pals, raising more than $3,000 to help find a cure.
In addition to oligoarthritis, blood tests revealed that Piper tests positive for uveitis, a condition that causes inflammation in her eyes. Both conditions are much more common in girls than boys. To help manage her symptoms, Piper takes methotrexate every week. Her regimen also includes monthly blood draws to ensure that her numbers are stable.
Oligoarthritis typically develops by age 6, so her diagnosis at almost age 3 means Piper has great doctors who have closely watched over her. She sees her rheumatologist, Dr. Toruner, monthly to monitor her joints and to review bloodwork. Every three months, Piper visits Dr. Lange, her ophthalmologist, to detect vision changes as soon as possible. The medical facilities and the incredible team of people who specialize in the care of children help make these changes less worrisome.
The Arthritis Foundation and nationwide Children's Hospital have been an invaluable part of the journey in treating Piper physically and emotionally.