Arlo’s Story 

Arlo Vasilidias is a toddler on a mission. Diagnosed with arthritis before his first birthday, Arlo and his parents are raising awareness and giving a voice to kids with juvenile arthritis.  

Arlo was diagnosed with oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) at just 9 months old. When he suddenly stopped using his left arm, his parents, John and Leah, assumed he had been injured in some way and took him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for X-rays. Imaging never showed a break, but he was put in a cast under the assumption it was not visible. When the cast came off a month later, he was still unable to use his arm.  


After lab work, it was determined he needed an MRI to see what was happening to Arlo. The MRI showed fluid, inflammation and possible infection, but it was not clear what the problem was. He was taken the next day to surgery to biopsy the wrist, and they discovered torn ligaments that were then repaired during surgery. He was admitted for a week and underwent frequent lab testing and IV antibiotics, as no one knew what was wrong. Eventually, everything else was ruled out and he was diagnosed with JIA. 


John and Leah love seeing other families with kids like Arlo and joined the Arthritis Foundation at the 2018 and 2019 Walk to Cure Arthritis. Their team, Arlo’s Army, raises funds to help provide resources to kids just like their son and celebrates Arlo and all of his brave moments dealing with arthritis.