Ranjini Joy Shank, who turned 6 in February, is the youngest of three girls (sisters Renuka and Rasili), who live in Worthington, Ohio with their parents Roshini and Aaron Shank. She is a very active, sweet, smart, and funny little girl. She's an absolute joy!
Last Spring, Ranjini began to have swelling in her fingers. At first, we wondered if she had caught it in a door. We never thought it was anything but an acute and quick-to-heal injury that kids are bound to have from time to time. But after a couple of weeks the swelling wasn't going down, and there were more fingers affected. In another couple of weeks Ranjini had swelling in her knees. Then her wrists. And so on. It was difficult for her to not be able to be as active as she wanted on nice days. By mid-summer, as we were gearing up for her to start Kindergarten, she could not hold a pencil or crayon. She limped down the stairs to breakfast. It was difficult and frustrating for her, and for all of us. By now, we understood that it was arthritis, but we didn’t know what that meant for a child who was starting school.
In July, we first met with Ranjini's specialist. Throughout July and well into August, she was poked and prodded, put under anesthesia and imaged. She started getting two shots per week at home. It was a difficult time for her, and it was a difficult time for our family. We prayed and hoped that Ranjini would be able to lead a typical childhood, even if she had to have shots and take extra precautions.