RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The Arthritis Foundation will host the inaugural Albuquerque Jingle Bell Run for arthritis Dec. 8, and among this year’s honorees is Rio Rancho High School freshman Dacia Marquez, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at age 2½.
First, the honoree
Although juvenile arthritis caused her to stop walking at multiple points in her life, she now has the disease controlled and participates in cross country and swimming.
In the spring of 2007, her parents noticed she was walking on her right heel instead of walking heel to toe. Two months later, X-rays showed small cracks in her heel and a significantly smaller calf muscle, but there was no explanation — her right foot stopped growing due to swelling. At the time, the family was living in Aztec.