May 9, 2008

2008 Arthritis Walk is The Year of the Young Hero

Latina girl named as one of the honorees

Clarisa Gomez is one of four children being honored by the Arthritis Foundation, San Diego Area Chapter at the 2008 Arthritis Walk. The theme for this year’s walk is The Year of the Young Hero, honoring the more than 3,500 San Diego County children who suffer from some form of Juvenile Arthritis (JA). The 2008 Arthritis Walk is on Saturday, May 17th, 8:30am at the Embarcadero Marina Park North, downtown San Diego. To register for the walk or learn more about arthritis, visit

Clarisa Gomez from Chula Vista is 8 years old, and was recently diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). Unfortunately, she does not respond to typical treatments and takes steroids to control her inflammation. She is very active and enjoys drawing and painting. Her artwork was chosen out of hundreds of submissions to be included in the Biocom calendar of children’s art for 2008.

Arthritis or chronic joint symptoms are more widespread than imagined, affecting 66 million Americans, or one out of three adults and approximately 300,000 children. In San Diego County, arthritis affects more than 700,000 people 3,500 of these are children. “I am pleased that this year’s walk is honoring children,” said Veronice Braun, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, San Diego Area Chapter. “People think arthritis is a disease that only affects old people. Unfortunately, it affects children too. More than 3,500 children in San Diego County suffer from arthritis.”

This year’s Arthritis Walk features a three-mile and a one-mile course, with activities for the entire family. Participants can walk in honor of a friend or a family member with arthritis, while those with arthritis wear blue hats to signify their action in taking control of their condition. The walk is a wager’s welcome walk and pet owners are invited to bring their friendly, leashed dogs to walk with them. “The Arthritis Foundation is here to help people with arthritis take a more active role in managing their disease. Participating in the Arthritis Walk can be a first step toward the healthy lifestyle that may help prevent or control arthritis,” added Braun.

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