“Let’s Move Together” is the theme for the Arthritis Walkathon scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at Crandon Park, 4000 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne.
The event is aimed at raising funds and calling attention to the fact that many South Floridians have arthritis or have family members or friends who suffer or have suffered from the ailment.
Proceeds from the Miami Walk will help pay for medication, research, education, pain alleviation programs and kids summer camp for those who have arthritis, an ailment that affects more than 34 million whites, more than 4.6 million blacks and nearly 3.1 million Hispanics nationwide.
The prevalence of arthritis increases with age, standing at 50 percent for those over age 65 but children also suffer from it. Nearly 300,000 children and teenagers under 18 are affected by arthritis or other rheumatologic conditions and Juvenile Arthritis is one of the most common childhood diseases in the U.S.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study indicates that children diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions accounts for around 827,000 doctor visits each year, including an average of 83,000 emergency department visits.
Common symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis are:
• Pain, swelling, tenderness and stiffness of joints, causing limited range of motion
• Joint contracture, which results from holding a painful joint in a flexed position for an extended period of time
• Damage to joint cartilage and bone, leading to joint deformity and impaired use of the joint
• Altered growth of bone and joints, leading to short stature.
“It is important for all parents of children with arthritis to gain knowledge about the disease so it doesn’t overshadow their child’s life,” says Dr. Patience H. White, the Arthritis Foundation’s chief public health officer and a pediatric rheumatologist.
“With one in 250 children diagnosed with arthritis or related conditions, it is essential for parents to feel empowered to assist their child,” she said.
The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability.
For more information on the walkathon or to make a donation, visit www.Miamiwalk.kintera.org. For more information on the Arthritis Foundation, call 1-800-283-7800 or visit www.arthritis.org.