The Women's Journal

My name is Holly Potoeski, and this walk is near and dear to my heart.

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I was diagnosed in 1986 with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 4. Since then I have had hip and knee replacements
to ankle fusions so I have had my fair share of struggles in my 33 years of life. The past 5 years of my life up until this past June have been the most difficult. I spent 5 years of my life in pain, the moment the IV drug and chemo (I took for 12 years straight) stopped working, up until this past June after trialling 8 other IV drugs, we found a medication that actually helped. We need to raise money for research not only for a cure but to find other medications that help manage the pain and the disease. The medication I found this past June is the last drug on the market that I have left to help me at this time. Not “if” but “WHEN” this drug stops working I am completely out of options. That is until they develop a new medication and the only way that can happen is to have money to fund research. I have trialled EVERY medication on the market at this point in my life. I have NO options left! Hopefully by raising money we can fund the research needed to develop the medications needed so other young children and adults won’t have to go to bed at night or wake up in the morning wondering if this is the last they will have a pain free day, or if it’s the last day your meds will help their condition, which is something that is always in the back of my mind. I am hoping children who are now diagnosed will not have to go through what I had to go through. We have come a far way the past 29 years with research however we have a far distance to go. I’m sure you can see why I have a big commitment to this cause.