Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

In Teaneck, a Walk and a Talk about Arthritis

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

In Teaneck, a Walk and a Talk about Arthritis

Article excerpt

TEANECK -- Lexi Narotzky, 16, misses school some days, unable to rise from bed or hold a toothbrush because her joints are too stiff. On better days, she'll go to class but won't be able to write for too long. In gym class, she'll watch classmates from the sidelines.

She has arthritis, a disease that causes the inflammation of joints, resulting in pain and stiffness. She feels it in her knees, hands, fingers, ankles and toes. But because it's seen as an old person's disease and the symptoms aren't visible, teachers and classmates haven't always been quick to understand.

Narotzky has worked to spread awareness that arthritis can affect children, too, and for her efforts, the Livingston resident was one of three people recognized nationwide by the Arthritis Foundation this year, as the National Young Adult Honoree.

She shared her story with hundreds of North Jersey residents at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck for the annual Walk to Cure Arthritis.

"I so much want to enjoy sleepovers, late nights, parties on the weekend to blow off some of the stress from school, but know deep down that if you don't get a decent night's sleep and take care of myself, my body will succumb to the disease and make it unbearable," she said.

The event, which raises money for the Arthritis Foundation, a non- profit that seeks to address the needs of people with arthritis through advocacy, research and other means, is one of many taking place across the country to aid the search for better treatments and possibly a cure.

More than 50 million Americans, including 300,000 children, live with arthritis pain, according to the foundation's figures. In New Jersey, the total is 1.4 million, including 8,000 children, said Kathy Geller, chairwoman of the board of directors of the New Jersey chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.

The Teaneck walk aimed to raise $120,000. …

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