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April 2, 2013 > Fremont student honored for role in youth arthritis awareness

Fremont student honored for role in youth arthritis awareness

Submitted By Joyce Bustinduy

Ten year old Zack Soares will be honored by the Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison and the City Council Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Zack will be recognized for his service as the 2013 Tri-Valley Arthritis Walk Youth Honoree who has been serving as the face of children living with arthritis and raised awareness in the local community that kids get arthritis too. Though often considered an older person's disease, arthritis affects men, women, and children of all ages. In fact, there are currently 300,000 children in the U.S. living with arthritis.

Zack has lived with arthritis since 2007, more than half his young life. To control his arthritis, Zack takes powerful medications by infusion and travels with his family to Chicago several times a year to see a specialist. Despite the disease, Zack lives a happy and active life, even playing sports. Zack is filled with so much energy that there are few besides his amazing dog Patsy who can keep up with him. Soccer, baseball, cycling and even climbing the walls, Zack just loves to move. Looking at him today you might never guess that this active, bright kid is living with a form of arthritis called Dermatomyosis, or that not too long ago Zack was unable to run for more than 30 seconds without needing to rest.

Zack's Dermatomyosis appeared first as a rash. After almost three months of tests, pokes and prods, his family was finally given the name of the disease that would turn their lives upside down. Since his diagnosis in 2007, Zack has gone through more than a dozen different medications, a clinical study, many specialists, and countless tests.

For the past two summers, Zack has joined dozens of other children living with arthritis at the Arthritis Foundation's Camp Milagros, the only camp in northern California specifically for children living with arthritis.

Having the chance to meet other kids and adults just like him has helped to make Zack more confident and happier. Zack and his family continue to educate his friends, neighbors, and educators about arthritis. Zack's school, Brookvale Elementary, has been especially supportive and will be holding two fundraisers for the benefit of Zack's Tri-Valley Arthritis Walk team, Team Zack Attack, and their own team, Team Brookvale Elementary.

The 2013 Tri-Valley Arthritis Walk will be on Saturday, May 4th at LifeStyleRx, 1119 E. Stanley Blvd., Livermore, CA. Registration and festivities will begin at 8 am and include a one or three mile walking course, entertainment, kids' activities, food, raffle prizes, arthritis education, and more. Funds raised through the Arthritis Walk support the Arthritis Foundation's continued work in research, education, programs and services, and government advocacy for the millions affected by arthritis. If you are interested in learning more about the Tri-Valley Arthritis Walk, please contact Beth Miller at (415) 356-5483 or at bmiller@arthritis.org. To get more information about the Walk, please visit: www.TVArthritisWalk.Kintera.org.

Arthritis Walk
Saturday, May 4
8 a.m.
LifeStyleRX
1119 E. Stanley Blvd., Livermore
(415) 356-5483
www.TVArthritisWalk.Kintera.org

The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is committed to raising awareness and reducing the impact of this serious, painful and unacceptable disease, which can severely damage joints and rob people of living life to its fullest.

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