Sarah Hughes, right, and her mother, Fiona, have endured 24 years of Sarah's struggle with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a debilitating autoimmune disease. But a new treatment has given her another chance at life. Click through our gallery to learn more about Sarah's journey.
Fiona's twin, Sarah Jane (left), was only 8 when she was told that she would die prematurely from juvenile arthritis, but her symptoms didn't take a turn for the worse until she was 20. Growing up, Fiona shared a bedroom with Sarah Jane and was scared to sleep at night because her twin suffered from seizures. Instead, she would stay awake and keep watch.
This was the last birthday together for the twins before Sarah Jane died. Also pictured are Sarah (right, with Fiona) and Sarah Jane's daughter, Allison (left).
Sarah was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis in 1992, when she was 11 months old. In this photo, Sarah was finally learning to walk braces.
Sarah's vertebrae at the base of the skull were attacked by her arthritis at an early age. At 7, she wore a neck brace for support.
Sarah struggled to make friends because other students teased her about her medical issues. She would come home and read stories to her pony, Georgie Porgy, because he never made her feel different or judged.
Sarah has spent much of her life in hospitals, receiving chemotherapy and treatments to help her condition. She credits her doctors with keeping her alive into her 20s.
Sarah and her friend Tucker Beau, who also has juvenile arthritis, received stem cell treatments together in hopes of curing their disease. They wear Batman shirts to support each other.
Eleven months after her first stem cell treatment, Sarah jumped for joy on the beach in Cancun. Her wish was to see a beautiful beach before dying; now, she visits to celebrate the success of her treatment.
Both Sarah and Tucker Beau have continued to improve after stem cell therapy, and they remain close friends.