When most people hear the word "arthritis," they think of the elderly, but that word also causes a lot of pain for 1 in every 250 children nationwide.
Tori Baker is just like any other 8–year–old. She loves swimming, reading and writing.
She also deals with chemotherapy medicine, weekly injections and IV's for her arthritis.
"She's brave," said her mother, Lacey, after giving her an injection. "We do this at the breakfast table usually."
Most people don't know about juvenile arthritis. That's why Tori and Lacey took a three day trip to Washington D.C. for the Heartland Arthritis Foundation Summit.
While there, she told her story to Senator Grassley.
"When it hurts, I can't run or ride my bike because my hips hurt," Tori wrote in her letter. "Where it hurts is my hips, my feet and sometimes the back of my knee. I have an IV once every month and a lot of medicine, like a shot every week and pain meds every day."
Lacey said that spreading her daughter's message at the summit not only raised awareness, it gave her the chance to meet other kids going through the same thing.
"Just for her to meet other kids, and to be able to speak out and just tell how she's feeling," said Lacey. "I don't want her to grow up thinking that she's different or disabled, or having other people treat her poorly."
For Tori, the visit to D.C. was all about her biggest dream:
"That doctors will find a cure for arthritis," Tori said.
Tori was chosen as the honoree for the Des Moines Arthritis Walk that will take place in May.
Information on the walk can be found here.