Elise's Story

Arthritis is often thought of as an old person’s disease, but in fact, arthritis is ageless. We are grateful to Elise and her mom Louise for sharing their story. Please read their story of hope as told by Louise. We think you will agree it puts into focus why arthritis research must be a priority and why we encourage you to make a gift this holiday season to support arthritis research.

For Elise it started when she was just two years old. Every night we put her to bed, only to have her wake up screaming. Mommy it hurts’ Mommy it hurts! Make it stop!

As her mom, I badly wanted to make the pain go away, but I couldn’t. It took two long years of nightly pain and doctor appointment after doctor appointment as we struggled to find out what was wrong with our daughter. It was two years before we had our answer and Elise was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A very serious and potentially fatal form of arthritis that affects 3 in every 1,000 children.

By four years of age, Elise had begun weekly Methotrexate injections to stop the inflammation from attacking her body and preventing permanent damage to her joints. By 15 years of age, she had already had two knee surgeries and the arthritis has started attacking her left eye.


Flare up after flare up, Elise’s childhood has been a never-ending series of specialist appointments, hospital visits, injections, surgeries and medications. Because of her arthritis, Elise has had to face more than any child ever should.

But to look at Elise you’d never know she suffers with arthritis. Elise looks healthy.

You’d never know that Elise is in constant pain every single day and that some days she comes home from school so exhausted that she has to go to bed at 5:30 pm. That’s the thing about arthritis, it’s invisible. It’s a hidden disease, so people often dont realize how painful or debilitating it can be.

We want a better future for Elise and we know the answers for Elise and others will be found through leading edge arthritis research. Our family is committed to creating awareness for arthritis and raising much needed funds for research through our annual charity event, Angel Award.

Money raised from this event goes to support research at Arthritis Research Canada. But we can’t do it alone. We need more caring people like you to join us in helping to advance arthritis research. Together we can accelerate new discoveries, medications and treatments today.

Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical research center in North America and the only organization focused exclusively on arthritis research in Canada. Research is all they do! Arthritis Research Canada currently has 75 research studies underway across the country, exploring every possible avenue of discovery from prevention to new treatments and a cure.

Without the many advances made in arthritis research in the last 20 years, Elise would be in a wheelchair today. But there is still so much to do!

One research project in particular that resonates with my family is a research study by Dr. Mary De Vera investigating the effects of powerful arthritis drugs on pregnant women and their babies. Given that Elise has been taking high doses of medication her whole life, studies like this will be very important to her in the future.

As her mom, I wish that I was the one with arthritis instead of Elise and that I could take her pain away. Elise is a warrior. She’s the bravest and strongest person I know and together with caring donors like you, we are doing all we can to make arthritis research a priority.

Please join me and help accelerate lifechanging and life-saving arthritis research by making a special holiday gift today.

Louise Boisvert (Elise’s mom)







Arthritis Is Ageless.

“Studies at Arthritis Research Canada are showing that new and aggressive treatments of arthritis will add years of healthy living to those who suffer with one or more of the 100 forms of arthritis. And significant focus is being given to addressing the complications caused by arthritis, like hearts attacks and stroke, and how to prevent them. All of this research is critical to Elise’s future and so many others like her, both young and old. Arthritis is ageless and now affects more than 6 million Canadians.”

~ Dr. John Esdaile, Scientific Director, Arthritis Research Canada