Alyssa’s Story

At the age of 15, when most kids are busy with friends, school and just being kids – Alyssa was dealing with lower back pain, fevers and a general achy feeling. It was really interfering with her being able to enjoy the things the other kids were. And she was searching for the reason why.

She found the answer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital when she was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). The symptoms of JIA include joint pain, swelling, tenderness, warmth, stiffness and more.

The Pediatric rheumatologists at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provide comprehensive care and consultation services for children with rheumatic diseases like JIA. In the four years since being diagnosed, Alyssa has been hospitalized multiple times, undergone many treatments, and had numerous doctor appointments.

“Through my diagnosis, I have not only met amazing doctors who have dedicated their time to make sure I get the best possible treatment, but also patients like me. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a place that I can go to when I feel unwell and know that I am getting the best possible treatment. It’s where I have met doctors who I have grown relationships with. I feel important when I go to Nationwide Children’s – like they care about me and want to help. They were the first hospital to diagnose me – because they actually listened to me. And I can’t thank them enough for that,” says Alyssa.

Alyssa enjoys watching Once Upon a Time and Revenge. She loves playing the flute and eating sushi. When she grows up she plans to be a pediatric rheumatologist so she can help other kids like her.

Until then, Alyssa has been spending some time as a Patient Champion for Nationwide Children’s. She is super excited about cheering on the participants who will pass through her mile at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon.

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At the age of 15, when most kids are busy with friends, school and just being kids – Alyssa was dealing with lower back pain, fevers and a general achy feeling. It was really interfering with her being able to enjoy the things the other kids were. And she was searching for the reason why.

She found the answer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital when she was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). The symptoms of JIA include joint pain, swelling, tenderness, warmth, stiffness and more.

The Pediatric rheumatologists at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provide comprehensive care and consultation services for children with rheumatic diseases like JIA. In the four years since being diagnosed, Alyssa has been hospitalized multiple times, undergone many treatments, and had numerous doctor appointments.

“Through my diagnosis, I have not only met amazing doctors who have dedicated their time to make sure I get the best possible treatment, but also patients like me. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a place that I can go to when I feel unwell and know that I am getting the best possible treatment. It’s where I have met doctors who I have grown relationships with. I feel important when I go to Nationwide Children’s – like they care about me and want to help. They were the first hospital to diagnose me – because they actually listened to me. And I can’t thank them enough for that,” says Alyssa.

Alyssa enjoys watching Once Upon a Time and Revenge. She loves playing the flute and eating sushi. When she grows up she plans to be a pediatric rheumatologist so she can help other kids like her.

Until then, Alyssa has been spending some time as a Patient Champion for Nationwide Children’s. She is super excited about cheering on the participants who will pass through her mile at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon.

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