4-year-old girl recovering from crippling form of arthritis - FOX Carolina 21

4-year-old girl recovering from crippling form of arthritis

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4-year-old Liliana Eargle swinging at playground. (FOX Carolina/ July 29, 2015) 4-year-old Liliana Eargle swinging at playground. (FOX Carolina/ July 29, 2015)

Kimberly and Ryan Eargle look at life a little differently than they used to before their daughter was diagnosed with an uncommon disease.

"It's just amazing to see what she can do now," Kimberly Eargle said.

When her daughter, Liliana was 2-years-old, she said she noticed swelling on her daughter's knee.

"And then as it got worse and worse and we saw swelling in both knees, we knew something was wrong," she said.

Liliana's ankles began to bow and doctors ran several tests, but they still didn't have any answers.

"She would lay on the couch all day. She was losing her quality of life and we could just tell that she was in pain.'

That's when they went to Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville and doctors and therapists diagnosed Liliana with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease.

"Her joints are being attacked by herself and she gets to the point where the swelling inflammation is so bad she can't walk," Kimberly Eargle said.

The disease spread throughout Liliana's body which crippled her and it was tough for her father, Ryan Eargle, to see her in pain.

"You're completely helpless and you want to take her spot, or you want to be able to do something about it and you can't," he said.

Liliana now takes two shots once a week to help with pain and through therapy at Shriners she's now making new strides as she fights a disease usually associated with the elderly.

"They've done so much for her, it's been amazing," he said.

Liliana also takes dance classes and doesn't have a problem running around on playgrounds. She's one of 30,000 children in the country with some sort of arthritis.

"They're going through pain every day that we can't see. It's a constant struggle for them," Ryan Eargle said.

And after treatments and therapy, at 3 years old, Liliana was able to walk again for the first time.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in children under the age of 17.

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