Motorbike racing helps ease arthritis treatment

Paige was just eight-years-old when she started feeling severe pain in her hands.

After being seen by doctors at The Children’s Hospitals at Westmead, Paige was diagnosed with Polyarticular Juvenile Arthritis, a condition that was affecting multiple joints including her hands, ankles and wrists.

“I felt so much pain in my hands which followed with bubble-like bumps in my knuckles. It was so painful that I couldn’t even close my hands,” Paige said.

Polyarticular Juvenile Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system, which normally attacks germs, to mistakenly attack the joints, resulting in swelling and irritation.

When Paige was first diagnosed, she was afraid her arthritis would impact her ability to play sports. Under the care of our Paediatric Rheumatology Network though, Paige has not only been able to continue doing the things she loves but, at just 14-years-old, has also become a champion in motorbike racing.

In her first season racing Paige won all five races and over the last two years has also received three trophies and various ribbons and medals for other events she has participated in.

“My arthritis took some time to get under control, I was required to have injections which I struggled with.

But the motorbikes took my mind off the treatment, and I enjoyed it so much that any pain I had was forgotten by the amount of fun I was having.” Paige said.

 

Paige is currently in remission and has been off injections for 12 months. She will continue to have check-ups with her team at Hospital but for now, is focused on living life to the fullest.  

“When I first started medication, I thought I would never be able to escape it, but I’ve come so far and I'm very proud of myself,” Paige said.

To learn more about the Paediatric Rheumatology Network, visit prn.org.au