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Alicia Bollom Harsh, Age 29, diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 3.
Alicia was just 3 years old when she was diagnosed with JRA. It took nine months and multiple physicians to reach a diagnosis. Growing up, Alicia had the most wonderful attitude about her disease. She fought it with courage and determination. One of her many physicians described her as “stoic”. Alicia herself is very modest about it saying after all, I was diagnosed so young that I really don’t remember life without arthritis.”
Alicia’s parents always encouraged and supported Alicia in doing whatever she wanted to do with her life. She loved to dance, so she danced. She wanted to experience school to the fullest and so she did. Since her diagnoses, Alicia has been hospitalized more times than anyone can remember and has had at least seven different surgeries including a knee replacement at 21, foot reconstruction at 25, and spine surgery at 28. The family jokes that she has been in every emergency room in Austin, TX! On December 11, 2010, Alicia married a most wonderful man, David Harsh, in Austin Texas. David was “baptized by fire” just 10 days after their wedding when Alicia was hospitalized for severe headaches and stomach pain. She had gallbladder surgery and then just one month later, had her cervical spine fused. She says that the past year was the most difficult of her life.
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It's good to talk.