Silencing the Pain

When Taya was diagnosed with arthritis as a toddler, you helped her take back her life.

Just fifteen years old, Taya knows how it feels to live in crippling pain. She shares how it took a community of caring people, including you, to help her take back her life from arthritis.

My life changed the day a violent red rash began spreading across my small, three-year-old body.

It wasn’t a typical toddler rash and it came with hip pain and a skyrocketing temperature. Worried, my parents took me to our doctor in our hometown of St. Thomas to get answers.

They couldn’t have expected what was to come.

Our doctor sent us straight to Children’s Hospital. As a family, we would spend more than a month there as I underwent countless tests.

My health care team had to rule out cancer, heart disease and more – I can’t imagine what it was like for my parents to hear those possibilities.

As they gathered more and more evidence, it became clear that I had childhood arthritis. Medical professionals actually diagnosed me with the most serious form, called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

One in 1,000 Canadian children and teens live with this condition.

It doesn’t affect just one area of my body. It causes pain and stiffness in multiple joints. It can even impact my internal organs.

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