At the age of seven years old, Julia was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This was during a time when there was little awareness that children do contract this disease. This is her journey from being wheelchair bound to graduating from Vanderbilt University with a double major. The journey she traveled was filled with obstacles and opportunties. The obstacles included eight joint replacement surgeries (the first at age 15), a major cervical fusion surgery, and numerous other surgical procedures. The opportunities she had included marriage, being a mother, serving as an advocate for others with disabilities through volunteer activities with the Athritis Foundation at the local, state, and national levels. She also had opportunity to share her faith in Jesus Christ as she walked the road set before her.
Julia believed in the "teamwork" concept of dealing with her disease. Her team was led by Jesus, with her family, friends, and medical staff rounding out her team. It was Julia's desire that through her journey others would see the strength and hope she experienced. Most importantly she shares that the Lord gives victory amid adversity. She knew this to be true because she has traveled this road.