As a young woman, Jackie began to show signs of arthritis. In the beginning, it was morning stiffness and swelling which slowly started to hinder her ability to walk and get dressed. During this time Jackie was a single mom with two young children, ages 8 and 3. Her daughter helped her with daily grooming.
In November 2006, Jackie, at only 33, was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Shortly after she found out that RA was prominent on her father’s side of the family. Over the course of the last eleven years, Jackie has been on variety of medications to manage her disease and pain. Diet and exercise are key ingredients to being flare-free.
Jackie works in the Rheumatology Division at the University of New Mexico. Her role enables her to interface with rheumatologists and patients. Helping patients obtain educational information needed to learn more about their
type of arthritis enables her to be a great resource.
Jackie first participated in the Jingle Bell Run in 2013. Each year, she volunteers her time to oversee the Arthritis Foundation’s exhibit booth at the Annual Rheumatic Disease Conference. Although she recently had an injury that has sidelined her training, Jackie is very excited to be a part of this year’s Jingle Bell Run at Balloon Fiesta Park. “It is my hope that by sharing my journey with RA that it will help others struggling with arthritis,” says Jackie.
To learn more or join her team, Jackie’s Jinglers,visit www.jbr.org/Albuquerque/JackiesJinglers
Madison first showed symptoms at 18 months of age. She woke up one morning and couldn't walk. She cried and cried and no one could understand why. After a couple of weeks her parents noticed that her knee was swollen to the size of an apple. They immediately took her to the primary care doctor who referred her to an orthopedist. Madison had numerous blood work and x-rays but nothing indicated arthritis. A synovial biopsy on her knee one week before her 2nd birthday revealed Madison had "rice bodies," an indicator of rheumatoid arthritis. Fortunately, Madison was able to see a pediatric rheumatologist who ordered daily NSAIDS and weekly methotrexate injections. Blood work, injections, x-rays, and doctor appointments became the norm.
Madison trooped through it all with a positive outlook. She dealt with arthritis for two and a half years until she was finally considered in remission in September of 2015. Madison continues to see an opthalmologist to ensure there are no signs of uveitis and a pediatric rheumatologist for preventive care. She is currently active in cheer, dance, soccer, and Girl Scouts and she is working hard to become an advocate for children with arthritis. Madison is truly honored to be the 2017 Jingle Bell Run Albuquerque Youth Honoree.
To support Madison please click here!