Written by Katie Piacentini Monday, 14 May 2012 17:37
The 2012 Arthritis Walk Long Island, which supports the Arthritis Foundation Northeast Region/Long Island Chapter, takes place on Saturday, May 12. Participants in this walk will raise money for research and support for those living with arthritis. Organizers of this annual event say that their additional goal is to encourage people to get up and get moving. In fact, their rallying cry is “Let’s Move Together.”
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics, arthritis impacts more than 50 million Americans and in the last decade alone, the number of affected Americans has grown by more than 3 million. There are many different types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. To date, there are some 300,000 American children who are living with the pain of arthritis.
Honorees for this year’s walk include 10-year-old Kylie McCormick, the youth honoree; Eleanora Ferrante, the adult honoree; and medical honoree Dr. David Weissberg, a local board-certified orthopedic surgeon.
At the age of 8, Kylie McCormick was diagnosed with Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Kylie is also ANA (antinuclear antibody) positive, which means that she must visit a pediatric ophthalmologist every three months to check for uveitis – swelling and irritation – in her eyes. Despite enduring two weekly injections and daily pain and inflammation, Kylie always stays positive and keeps a smile on her face.
Eleanora Ferrante was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2004 at the age of 36. “I was a member of the sandwich generation, working part-time as a consultant in the financial industry, raising two children, and caring for my elderly parents. Fortunately, I was diagnosed relatively quickly and began treatment right away,” she said.
Ferrante explained that she uses conventional medicine to control her arthritis, but also relies on complementary therapies to feel better. “I exercise almost daily, practice yoga and meditation, and try to eat well. Taking care of myself allows me to do the things I want to do – volunteer with the Arthritis Foundation, my church, and the PTA as well as pursue a master’s degree. I take my health very seriously and do all I can to maintain my quality of life,” Ferrante said, and added, “I may have arthritis, but arthritis doesn’t have me.”
The founder of Long Island Orthopedic Solutions, Dr. David J. Weissberg, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with more than 25 years of experience in surgical and nonsurgical orthopedic care. He stated that his practice combines conservative modalities, state-of-the art orthobiologic procedures, and expert, compassionate care to treat arthritis-related pain and disorders of the arm, elbow, foot and ankle, hand and wrist, hip, knee, lower back, neck, shoulder, and spine. Long Island Orthopedic Solutions has offices in Huntington Station and West Islip.
The 2012 Arthritis Walk Long Island will be held on May 12 at Belmont Lakes State Park, located at 625 Belmont Avenue in Babylon. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the walk starts at 11 a.m.
Every year, the Arthritis Walk brings the community together to raise funds in support of new treatments and research and walk together in the fight against this disease. To join the movement as an individual or create your own team, visit www.arthritiswalk.org. For more information on participation, visit www.liwalk. kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=999786.