World Arthritis Day: Jasmine's Story

Written by Jasmine Davey, 29 September

JIA is the most common form of arthritis found in kids and teens. Jasmine Davey was diagnosed with JIA when she was one. Having lived her with arthritis all her life, Jasmine reflects on her journey with it, this World Arthritis Day.

I was diagnosed with JIA aged 1. After I recovered from a 24-hour viral bug, my mum and dad noticed I couldn’t stand on my legs without screaming in pain and falling to the floor. I was very lucky in that I was diagnosed and treated quickly by Alder Hey. I was then diagnosed with associated Uveitis at aged 2 after routine checks and received cataract surgery at aged 7.

Living with arthritis has been challenging, it’s been hard at times to keep up with friends and catching up with missed time at school and university. Often I’ve had to miss out on lots of things due to hospital appointments or because I was in a flare and it’s really frustrating. Even the medication side effects can have a massive toll on my body and sometimes it makes it hard for me to keep up with what I want to achieve. It’s tough having an invisible disease where everybody probably assumes I’m in no pain.

However, despite all of this, living with JIA is probably my strength because I am so much more determined and persevering than I would likely be without it. I’m not sure I’d be pursuing a career in healthcare (I am a student pharmacist) had I not had arthritis from such a young age. My condition has taught me to be strong and I’d like to think I can help shape the future of paediatric rheumatology with my work.

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