Abby’s Story 

Volunteering and fundraising are just a few ways 17-year-old Abby is conquering her painful arthritis diagnosis. Helping others understand her disease is now her mission. 

Abby was diagnosed in January of her sophomore year in high school with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Although she had been experiencing symptoms since she was 13, she officially got the diagnosis at age 15. Abby was referred to a rheumatologist early on and was told to wait to see if her symptoms resolved over time with more sleep and hydration. Her pain only worsened, but Abby and her family tried to chalk it up to growing pains. They did not make another rheumatology appointment until the disease had become debilitating. 

Abby and her family participated in the 2018 and 2019 Walk to Cure Arthritis and had a great time walking with friends and family at Sawyer Point, with such great views along the Ohio River. Abby’s goal is to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for JIA and all forms of arthritis. Her team is Abby Dabby DO IT! 

Abby’s words of wisdom for others just diagnosed with arthritis is to not be embarrassed about their disease, and to answer questions people may have so that they do not make incorrect assumptions. Since arthritis is not visible, kids living with juvenile arthritis must share how they feel with close family and friends or they will never truly understand.