The charity started in memory of a very special young man called James Herson who sadly died suffering from JIA.
Our fundraising has developed from the generosity and support of friends and family.
This condition can have a devastating affect on the family as well as the child. James’ mother, Philly, wrote the following in the early days of the Charity:-
“James was eight years old when he suddenly became ill. We saw three doctors in four days ending up in A & E on the fourth day without a diagnosis. James’ condition came out of the blue and was very frightening. As time progressed so did the Arthritis which was systemic and hit the various joints randomly. As a consequence of the drugs James had restricted growth and became very moon faced and heavy.
Life changed virtually overnight – what had been our norm disappeared bit by bit. Our life revolved around hospital stays, new drugs, and coping, as severe pains in different joints impacted heavily on James’ quality of life. We spent endless hours sitting in outpatients clinics waiting for our consultations. In the early days these were at Northwick Park which was quite convenient, but subsequently the unit was moved to Great Ormond Street and then, when James was 14, he was moved again to the Adolescent unit at the Middlesex in the West End of London (now the University College London Hospital)
The illness not only had a dramatic effect on James, but also his sister Charlotte who was 15 months younger than him. She was devastated by all that was going on and both she and James needed counselling in the early days. James developed a phobia for lifts and Charlotte unfortunately developed many other problems.”
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