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Sean's story

Sean Tierney

Sean was playing badminton at a very high level and represented England as part of the Great Britain squad from the age of nine.

When he was 11 he was invited to play in a tournament in France, but shortly before departing he began to feel ill, experiencing fatigue, dizziness and significant pain in the soles of his feet.

Sean visited his GP and was referred to his local hospital in Essex. After around a year of seeing numerous doctors, he underwent an eye test which eventually led to a diagnosis of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Following his diagnosis, Sean was given etanercept; he was the first child to be prescribed the drug and found it to be hugely beneficial, helping him to remain free from pain for the majority of the time.

‘Not knowing what was wrong with me was very scary. Arthritis is a condition most people thinks affects older people, but I’m proof that young people get it too. With the right medication and treatment, you can live the life that you want to live. I know I’m one of the lucky ones.’

Sean, now 25, is a keen cyclist: he’s recently completed a bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.