ISELIN, N.J., April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sixteen-year-old Lexi Narotzky of Livingston, NJ, has been named the National Young Adult Honoree of the 2015 Walk to Cure Arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation's signature event held in 115 communities to raise awareness about arthritis and funding for research to find a cure.
Lexi was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when she was three years old. Now, as a young adult, she still deals with the disease on a daily basis. "There are certain days and times I feel fine and other days when I can hardly move," she said.
Mindful of her limitations, Lexi takes her medication and carefully monitors her activities. "It's humbling to watch your contemporaries participate in gym class while you sit on the sidelines knowing that if you run too far or too fast, you may not be able to even walk up the stairs to your bedroom when you get home."
Arthritis affects 50 million Americans, or roughly one in five adults of all ages. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children like Lexi. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that can seriously affect joints, muscles, internal organs and eyes, and cause serious pain and disability. In New Jersey, 1.5 million adults and 8,600 children live with the disease.
"We are delighted to have Lexi as our National Young Adult Honoree," said Ingrid Montecino, President and CEO, Arthritis Foundation Northeast Region. "Lexi is a true role model and champion for young people who live with arthritis, helping us lead the fight to ensure that the focus is on research to find better treatments and a cure for this debilitating disease."
"I am so grateful to be the National Young Adult Honoree so I can help other young people and let them know they are not alone," said Lexi.
Lexi also uses her experience to advocate for people living with arthritis at the federal and state level. In March, she traveled to Washington, DC for the Arthritis Foundation's Advocacy Summit to share her story and urge members of Congress to support policies that help people with arthritis have access to quality care and affordable, life-changing medications.
The Walk to Cure Arthritis is taking place this spring in Bergen County (May 31), Essex County (June 7) and South Jersey (May 2). Visit www.walktocurearthritis.org to learn more. To join Lexi's Walk team, visit her Walk to Cure Arthritis page at www.walktocurearthritis.verona.kintera.org/theateam.
The Arthritis Foundation is the largest and most trusted nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs and challenges of people living with arthritis. We are focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis through information, advocacy, scientific research and community. For more information about our programs in New Jersey, visit www.arthritis.org/new-jersey.
Contact: Luci de Haan, [email protected]
SOURCE Arthritis Foundation