Madison's Story

Madison started waking up every morning with pain – crying when she got out of bed because her feet hurt. Her parents thought she’d outgrow it. Months later, she was still complaining of pain. 

At just 2 years old, Madison was waking up every morning with pain. She would cry when she would get out of bed and said her feet hurt. Her parents passed it off as growing pains and thought she would outgrow it. Unfortunately, months later she was still complaining of pain.  

Madison experienced pain in the morning and then in the afternoon after she had been active all day long. Her family doctor had concerns with Madison’s stiffness and pain when she walked and referred her to many specialists, including neurologists and rheumatologists. They all gave her different activities to do and ordered labs. The test results showed that Madison had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). 

 It’s been six years since that diagnosis. Today, Madison has very little range of motion in her feet and ankles and swelling in her right knee. There are days when she wakes up in pain, and some days, she has no pain at all. She takes medicine to ease her pain and a weekly injection to prevent deterioration of her bones and joints. 

Unfortunately, Madison will never outgrow arthritis, but she can control the pain. She can do all the activities she loves, including dancing, going on walks, swimming, fishing, camping and going bear hunting with her dad. Madison visits UW Children’s Hospital three times each year to meet with her rheumatologist and pediatric ophthalmologist.