Child Of The Month
By Barb Corol
This pretty little girl is Ambar Yissel. Ambar, age 10, has been diagnosed with Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (PJRA). The polyarticular type, more common in girls than in boys, affects five or more smaller joints (such as hands and feet) and usually both sides of the body. It can also affect large joints. Juvenile Arthritis is a long-lasting chronic disease.
Children with a certain antibody in their blood often have a more severe form of the disease. Antibodies are proteins in the blood usually used by the body to fight off infection through an immune response. In this form of arthritis, the antibody attacks the body’s own tissues. The result is inflammation, heat, pain and swelling.
Researchers still don’t know why the immune system goes awry in children who develop JRA although they suspect a two-step process. First, something in a child’s genetic makeup gives them a tendency to develop JRA. Then an environmental factor, such as a virus, triggers the development of JRA.
Ambar is a new client for Niños Incapacitados, having joined us this past July. The family just moved to the area. Thanks to Mom’s tenacity, they have been relocated to a brand new housing development subsidized by the government. Through tears, Mom said they are very happy as they now have a proper home with tiled flooring and she turns on a tap for water! She said they feel very blessed. Dad who can only work part time is hoping he will find work on some of the local farms.
For many years it was believed that most children eventually outgrow juvenile arthritis. Now it is known that half of the children diagnosed will continue to have active arthritis ten years after a diagnosis unless they receive aggressive treatment. Exercise helps maintain muscle tone and helps preserve and recover joint range of motion and function.
Ambar has been enrolled in Fundacion Teleton, which is a government funded therapy program in Guadalajara. Since her evaluations by numerous specialists, Ambar has been assigned a rigorous therapy program which she will attend three days per week. Although this means travelling to Guadalajara, both mom and Ambar are hopeful of positive results. Ambar has had to be fitted with special arm and leg splints and now has the use of a motorized wheelchair thanks to Fundacion Teleton.
At present, a nonsteroidal anti-infammatory drug seems to be working fairly well. Since joining Niños Incapacitados, we have reimbursed the family 4500 pesos for medicines and transportation.
As Director of the Jocotopec Clinic, thank you again for the opportunity of presenting some of our children to you.
Just a reminder that the monthly meetings for Niños Incapacitados have resumed. Our next meeting will take place on December 12th, 2013 at the Real de Chapala Hotel in La Floresta, starting with coffee at 10:00 a.m. We invite you to come and meet another one of the children we are helping. If you would like to learn more about Niños Incapacitados, please visit our website at www.programaniños.org or call Rich Petersen (376-765-5511) or Barb Corol (376-766-5452).