GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – With a shock of bright red hair, 2-year-old Courtney Warren is hard to miss. “When the red came in, I knew she was going to be really feisty,” said her father, Jason Warren.
When she was just 10 months old, Courtney started walking. By 13 months, though, her parents noticed a limp and a look of pain on her face.
One day, she refused to even crawl. “It’s just hard to see her. She was in pain,” said her father.
Courtney endured X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and surgery, before doctors finally diagnosed her with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a condition with no known cause or cure.
Courtney now depends on daily injections and medications to control her pain and inflammation. It’s not easy on her or her parents, who say they have to pin her down to give her shots.
“I worry about her trust in me, because I’m hurting her,” said Shelley Warren “I want her to know that I have to do it.”
Ten years ago, though, Courtney might have suffered permanent disability and joint damage. “The medication she’s on was only developed in the 90’s and that was through research,” said her mother.
This Saturday, the family will take part in the Dallas Arthritis Walk – helping fund further research. They hope scientists will one day find a way to make Courtney’s medication less painful, more effective – or better yet unnecessary.
“The future is so uncertain for her,” said Shelley Warren. “But right now, she’s doing great – and we treasure the time she’s doing great – and we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Dallas Arthritis Walk will take place Saturday, May 19. Registration opens at 8:30am. For more information or to make a donation, head to www.dallasarthritiswalk.org