North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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April 30, 2008

Team to participate in Arthritis Walk to raise awareness for Fultondale girl’s plight

By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News

Most people do not think about children when it comes to arthritis.

Neither did Steve and Kim Warren of Fultondale. That is, not until their 2-year-old daughter Bailey was diagnosed last year with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). They had never heard of it.

The family knows that many people do not know children can get arthritis, so they’re fighting to raise awareness and funds for research and a cure.

The Warrens formed a team called Bailey’s Buddies to walk in the Arthritis Foundation’s Arthritis Walk on May 10 at Lakeshore Walking Trail, 600 University Park Place near Samford University.

Friends and family will walk in honor of Bailey, who is now 3.

Bailey’s diagnosis came last year after she woke up with a red, swollen knee.

Kim Warren figured her daughter had simply fallen, so she took her to the pediatrician.

The doctor took a look and ordered blood work, which surprised Warren. He then sent Bailey to an orthopedic surgeon.

What followed was a painful drawing of fluid off of Bailey’s knee, and then surgery, a three-day stay in the hospital, and finally the diagnosis of JRA.

The news kept getting worse for the Warrens.

Bailey’s doctor told them that JRA can cause vision problems, and even blindness.

When they took her to the eye doctor, the disease had indeed begun to affect the child’s eyes.

When eye drops didn’t help, Bailey began to receive Remicade treatments, which are four- to six-hour treatments at the hospital through an IV.

She also gets Methotrexate shots once a week.

“She hates these and so do we,” said Warren. She said that both drugs are listed as chemotherapy drugs, and that Remicade is not FDA approved for children. So she fears the possible side effects.

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