Ben Rhodes  ::  Nationwide Children's Hospital

Ben Rhodes # 88

Driving for Patient Champion, Alexandra 

Birthdate: February 21, 1997
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Resides: Louisville, Kentucky
Hobbies: Riding ATVs and video games
Twitter: @benrhodes
Team: JR Motorsports

Meet Alexandra

Hometown: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Age: 5
Diagnosis: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis ( (JIA)
When you meet Alexandra, you won’t be surprised by the fact that you are meeting a sweet little 5-year-old girl who doesn’t like things like potatoes, bugs and getting shots. But you will be surprised to learn that she also does not like Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) because, like most people, you are probably not expecting to meet a child, as opposed to an adult, who is dealing with arthritis. More than that, Alexandra is such a happy and outgoing little girl, you would never know she suffers from such a big condition.
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Even though Alexandra is young, she’s been dealing with JIA for a while. She began receiving care and treatment at Nationwide Children's Hospital Rheumatology Clinic before she was even 2 years old! “They have been awesome helping her with all of the treatments. We are in the hospital every month for infusions. Without her treatments, she would not be able to even walk! If you just see her, you don't even realize she has JIA thanks to her treatments and doctors!” says Alexandra’s mom, Heather.

Arthritis, itself a group of more than 100 different diseases, is one category of rheumatic diseases, which may cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints and other supporting body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. About 300,000 children in the U.S. have arthritis or other rheumatic conditions. The pediatric rheumatologists at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provide comprehensive care and consultation services for children with suspected or definite rheumatic diseases and non-surgical musculoskeletal problems. Nationwide Children's also participates in collaborative clinical research. Since the number of children with arthritis is small in comparison to adults, it is essential for multiple pediatric rheumatology centers to participate in collaborative research.

“Nationwide Children’s means the difference between having a crippled child in constant pain and suffering and a child who, with proper medical care, appears "normal" and has a full and happy life!” adds Heather.

Alexandra’s full and happy life includes therapy horseback riding every week. She is also a big fan of Frozen and all princesses. And she is looking forward to her role as a Patient Champion for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200!


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Current Ranking #28

Car #88

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000