Sydney plays basketball, volleyball, is a level six swimmer, and has been in Girl Guides for almost nine years! She’s an extremely active young girl now but when she was just three years old on the soccer field her ankle would swell causing Sydney to limp, drag her foot, and eventually just stop and cry.
Knowing something was wrong, Sydney and her family made their first trip to the doctor, and six months later they had her diagnosis: juvenile idiopathic arthritis – a form of childhood arthritis with no known cause or cure.
Within 48 hours of that diagnosis, Sydney was at her first visit at the IWK in Halifax. Since then she has endured 9 years of cortisone shots, appointments, and many medications. Sydney is grateful that she has recently found one that makes a huge difference for her.
Although arthritis affects Sydney’s right ankle, left wrist and knees; her medication makes it possible to run, jump in bouncy castles, and last year she joined her first school sports team! Sydney wants everyone to know that kids can get arthritis too, and that just because the pain she faces is invisible, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Since her diagnosis, Sydney has seen huge changes in how arthritis affects her. Stairs between classes still cause Sydney pain, but her arthritis doesn’t stop her from walking and running anymore. When she was six years old she started fundraising for The Arthritis Society in hopes that she could help improve the quality of life for other children with arthritis and share some of her positivity.
“There are times when arthritis seems very scary, but there are amazing doctors who care so much and new medications that can really help,” Sydney describes. She wants people newly diagnosed with arthritis to know that things do get better.
Her bravery and extraordinary commitment to fundraising is why Sydney was recently named the Walk Hero for The Arthritis Society’s 2017 Walk to Fight Arthritis in Fredericton taking place on June 4th at Carleton Park.
“I do the Walk because I know every little bit of money I raise, it’s going to a cause that’s close to my family and helps kids like me,” Sydney explains.
Join Sydney and her team on June 4th to take steps toward an arthritis-free future. Register today!