A few months ago, my feet began to hurt.

At first, I thought that it was just from standing a lot for work, but then it continued to get worse. The day the pain spread to my hands, I knew something was wrong.

But it was when it spread to the rest of my body — my shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles — that I panicked. What was happening to me? All of a sudden everything hurt, all the time: sitting, standing, walking. At first, lying down was my only relief. But then the pain got so bad every joint would throb, no matter how comfortable I was.

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Family

The heartwarming story of a little girl on a big mission to find a cure for arthritis.

'We want people to know that arthritis isn't just a disease for the elderly.'

Shalako Umbach was a proud papa to a happy and healthy baby girl named Maddie. But once she learned how to walk, everything started to change.

Maddie was a very happy and healthy baby. All photos provided by the Umbach family and used with permission.

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