Growing up, Ashley Scesny always walked with a limp, but doctors never seemed concerned. But by the time she was 13, her mom set out to get answers and they learned Ashley had juvenile arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disorder.
As Ashley got older, her symptoms progressed. She was having trouble walking, her hands would seize, and she had her jaw replaced. Finally, by her senior year in high school, she was able to get on medication to help manage her symptoms, which allowed her to pursue her passion as an artist and go to the Ringling College of Art and Design.
Thanks to Ashley’s determination and advancements in rheumatoid arthritis treatment, Ashley is a freelance artist specializing in advanced collage and is a new mom to a little girl.
Ashley Scesny has built a career on turning cut paper art into incredibly detailed works.
“I like puzzles and this is kind of like art puzzles,” Scesny said. “This piece and cutout, where does it go?”
While the finished products are impressive on their own, take into account the local artist has dealt with juvenile and now rheumatoid arthritis for more than 30 years.
“Knees, hips, hands, a little bit of the spine, possibly the neck, I can’t keep track,” Scesny said.
Pain management has always been a part of her day-to-day, but thanks to new advancements in infusion treatments, the young mom is now able to live a much fuller life.
“When I got pregnant, my old medication was not working. It got really bad,” Scesny said. “That’s when we started to mess with other options.”
With the help of her rheumatologist, Dr. Robert Koval with Texas Orthopedics, the monthly therapy helps to limit the autoimmune disease which attacks joints and limits functionality.
“She has been through the wringer and has tried a lot of different therapies in the past,” Koval said. “We were able to get her on a plan and on a medication that works best for her.”
Covered by most insurance companies, it’s a newer way to combat an illness that once took so much joy from those that loved to create.
“There’s a lot of hope for these arthritic patients,” Koval said. “Even 20 to 30 years ago, we didn’t have these options available.”
“I have a lot more hope for the future and am doing so much better in every aspect of life,” Scesny said.
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Story and Photo Courtesy Spectrum News