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Worthy Walk

These days it seems that even a disease has to be captivating to grab headlines.

However, that did not stop more than 60 walkers who participated in the first annual Arthritis Walk held Sunday at Two Rivers Park.

While the public may not be as knowledgeable about arthritis as they are about cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, the Arthritic Association states that there are more than 100 types of arthritis and it causes more doctor visits, more lost time at work and is more disabling than heart disease, stroke, or lung disease.



The word “arthritis” means joint inflammation and more than 70 million Americans of all ages suffer from the disease.

Some of the common symptoms are joint deformity, inflammation, and relentless joint pain, which is aggravated by movement.



Since arthritis is a chronic disease, some patients, like Julie Olson, who has Rheumatoid arthritis, treats her symptoms with holistic medicine in addition to the medication prescribed by her regular doctor.

“I haven’t had a flare-up in more than two years since I’ve been seeing Dr. Back,” she said.

Dr. Hilary Back says that diet and activity are important variables and that arthritis is made better or worse by diet and physical activity.

“In all intents and purposes, it’s debilitating in many ways,” said Mary Russell, who has the disease.

Russell said she focuses on being as active as she was before she was diagnosed.

Young arthritis sufferers like Kerry Rippy and Jessica Hawkins also fix on living full, active lives.

Perhaps Olson shared one of the most important truths she’s learned from the disease.

“I’m not it, and it’s not me,” She said.


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