CEDAR PARK, Texas — Ashley Szesny has built a career on turning cut paper art into incredibly detailed works.

"I like puzzles and this is kind of like art puzzles,” Szesny 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.

After consulting with rheumatologist Dr. Robert Koval, Szesny receives monthly infusions to help limit the autoimmune disease’s effect on her joints and mobility. (Spectrum News 1/ Dylan Scott)

"Knees, hips, hands, a little bit of the spine, possibly the neck, I can’t keep track,” Szesny 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,” Szesny 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.

Often having to take breaks or limit her artistic work, the new advances in treatments have helped Szesny get back to creating and spending time with her young daughter. (Spectrum News 1/ Dylan Scott)

“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,” Szesny said.