Hi, My Name Is
"Believe! Laugh! Have Fun!"
systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)
High School Team:
Desiree Ficker – Mia's Champion Athlete Ambassador Professional Triathlete and Marathoner, with countless marathons and triathlons, which include having won 2nd place in the Iron Man World Championships, and Winner of the 2011 Austin Marathon. Mia was 9 months old when she showed her first symptom of a fever of 105 and a rash. Thinking she was just virus, the fever lasted 37 days. After extensive blood work, bone scans, and multiple visits to the infectious disease specialist, Mia was diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), inflammation of the liver and lymph nodes. Mia immediately started on a steroid treatment and methotrexate to control the inflammation, as well as NSAIDS for pain management. Over the next year, Mia struggled to get control of the arthritis and began to lose range of motion in her joints affecting her ability to walk or hold things. Since then, Mia has been on daily medicines for pain, weekly injections for arthritis, and bimonthly infusions. Mia is no stranger to MRIs, x-rays, bone scans, blood withdrawals, steroid injections in her joints, physical/occupational therapy, infusions, and traveling within the state to visit multiple doctors. Through it all, Mia has developed a strong and giving spirit. Regardless of all the pokes and doctor visits, Mia continues keeps a positive and often, comical attitude when interacting with medical staff. She is very expressive and leaves a lasting impression wherever she goes. Mia has battled JRA for 8 years, her entire life.