Kids Day: Giving Hope to Young Patients at Children's Hospital

FRESNO, Calif.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

A 5-year-old Clovis girl will be among them: Her mission? To bring support to the hospital that's helping her manage her aches and pains.

She's the fastest 5-year-old on a Barbie bike, Alyssa Dalleske loves showing off her pedal power. But when she was just 2-years-old, her parents noticed their tiny entertainer was missing a step or two. It had nothing to do with her dancing ability. Alyssa started walking with a limp and she'd wake up stiff and swollen.

She started avoiding playing outside with her friends playing inside the house she just wanted to sit and watch TV; she became very addicted to TV.

Dr. Dowain Wright at Children's Hospital delivered a stunning diagnosis: Alyssa had juvenile arthritis.

Dr. Wright says the condition causing inflammation of the joints is actually common, affecting 1 in 1,000 children. But it's different than the kind associated with older adults.

Dr. Dowain Wright said, "There's elderly arthritis which is wear and tear osteoarthritis, but inflammatory arthritis like adult rheumatoid arthritis and childhood arthritis is not wear and tear it's a mistake in the immune system an attack on the joints and it can happen at any age."

Every few months, Alyssa gets a checkup with Dr. Wright, who is just one of 300 pediatric rheumatologists in the United State.

While there is no cure, treatment with anti-inflammatories and the drug called methotrexate is helping. Alyssa continues to dance and recently scored her first soccer goal.

The kindergartener is also the head cheerleader for Kids Day, a poster child for the hospital's big fundraiser.

A grateful little girl who knows she can't go wrong, with Dr. Wright!

You can help the hospital that's investing in your kids. Buy a special edition of the Fresno Bee for just a dollar. Or you can make a $5.00 donation anytime by texting the word "GEORGE" to 90999.

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