2020 Miracle Kid Giada Thompson Receives Treatment So Close To Home


WAUSAU, Wisconsin (WSAW) – A lot of strength can come from the smallest of people. This strength is what the Miracle Kids at Marshfield Children’s Hospital epitomize and prove time and time again they can overcome any bumps in their health along the way.

Giada Thompson is one of the 2020 Miracle Kids we first met last year. He was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at the age of five.

“You get inflammation all over your body. My feet were still swelling and I couldn’t put my shoes on, and they hurt a lot, ”said Thompson.

But her health problems did not end at her feet.

“Arthritis reached her eyes when she was about six years old, and it has its own name. It’s uveitis, ”explained Julie Hofmann, Giada’s mother.

The now 11-year-old is among the 1% of children diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, having spread it.

“My eyes, I couldn’t see very well and I was on a lot of eye drops,” Thompson said. “I had to quit gymnastics for that because I couldn’t really see the balance beam or what they were teaching me to do.”

But thanks to the treatment plan she follows, including monthly infusions of an immunosuppressant, life just got a whole lot easier.

“I feel great because I’m in remission, and I feel great because nothing is really affecting me right now, and because I’m taking these drugs,” Thompson said.

Dr Suhas Ganguli is a pediatric rheumatologist at Marshfield Children’s Hospital.

“If we treat them aggressively, if we treat them in a timely manner, then a large number of them will overcome their illness into adulthood,” said Dr Ganguili.

Lucky for Giada’s family and others like hers, this treatment is top notch at Marshfield Children’s. “This experience wouldn’t be the same without the team we have now,” said Hofmann. “Everything from his rheumatologist to his ophthalmologist, to Child Life and the nurses here at the hospital.”

It’s also special to meet this so close to home.

“In all of central Wisconsin, we are the only pediatric rheumatology center and I am the only pediatric rheumatologist,” Dr. Ganguli explained. “In fact, there are only three other centers I can think of in the entire state of Wisconsin.”

While juvenile arthritis is the most common disease the center sees, they also treat other autoimmune and auto-inflammatory conditions in children like vasculitis and lupus.

“These are chronic illnesses that follow in increasing and decreasing patterns, but to help them overcome and understand these symptoms and these illnesses and ultimately be successful in life is the best thing for us, I think,” added Dr. Ganguli.

Since we first met Thompson, she has had to have glaucoma surgery to reduce the pressure in her eyes from the steroid drops. But her mother hopes it will be the last bump in the road for a while.

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