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#ThisIsJIA by Haider Khan

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I am Haider Khan and I am 17 years old. My sister was diagnosed with JIA when she was 9 years old. Before she became unwell over a year and a half ago, she was very active. The pain in her joints from her JIA causes her many difficulties and she is unable to be as active as she once was.  

Before her diagnosis, she had been in a lot of pain since the start of the year and it was only until after 7 long months of scans and tests that she was able to begin receiving treatment through steroid medication and injections to help control her JIA. 

It was an incredibly tough time for our family. We were all confused and scared as we were unsure of how we could soothe the aches and pains in her joints and emotionally support to try to make things better for her.  

Despite the turmoil we felt in the beginning, things are better for her now that she has her treatment, although it still takes a toll upon us all as a family. Everyday is different for us. Some days she will feel alright whilst other days things are more challenging for her, especially when she has a flare, which stops her from walking for too long or doing simple tasks without feeling a sharp pain in her joints, which makes the most basic things such as going to school or playing with friends hard for her. 

Seeing her in this type of constant discomfort and pain is really hard for me because I want to try my best to help her feel better even if sometimes it’s something I can’t help with or solve by simply making her laugh and distracting her from her pain but regardless, as a family we all do our best to take time off of our work and studying to spend lots of time with her so she doesn’t feel alone in this. Her pain is our pain, and we do our best to show our support for her and make her feel better, be it through taking her on fun days out, relaxing at home and playing board games or just sitting down and talking about it, even if it is hard for us sometimes. 

JIA has affected all of our lives and caused us lots of hurt and worry, but it has also created a stronger bond and brought us closer together as a family. We all face this together. We all fight this together and we will get through this together. 

#ThisIsJIA.