Nov. 25, 2014 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
A local Canton Township girl will be honored during one of the nation’s “Most Incredible Themed Races,” next month when the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis takes place beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Compuware World Headquarters, 1 Campus Martius, Detroit. More than 3,000 participants are expected.
Among them will be family members and supporters of Emi Werschky of Canton who was diagnosed at 2 with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and is the 2014 Detroit Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis Honoree. After three years of treatment, Werschky experienced a pain free life and thought her arthritis was cured. Unfortunately, arthritis came back and treatments resumed.
“I can’t wait until I am just Emi. Not a kid with arthritis,” said Werschky.
“Physically, Emi is hurting, but emotionally, she’s hurting just as much. She struggles and asks, ‘Why me?’” said Lisa Werschky, Emi’s mom.
“Emi was just 2 years old when she was officially diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. While other 2-year-old children were busy running, climbing, playing and learning to jump, skip, and pedal a bike, our daughter was quickly with- drawing from physical activities,” Werschky said. “It was October of 2009 when we noticed Emi was limping and her knee was swollen. Within weeks she could no longer get out of bed, walk up or down stairs, or even stand on her own. The arthritis was spreading and taking away Emi’s chances to be a normal and active child.
“Emi has been battling this disease for over five years. Today, thanks to a great team of doctors, medical procedures, and numerous trials of medications to find the right combination, Emi is returning to normal 7-year-old activity. We have experienced what its like to be in remission and how quickly that can end. Emi receives weekly injections in her stomach and takes daily pills to keep her arthritis under control. For a child in the 2nd grade, the side effects to these medications can make it very difficult to keep up in school. We know she still has a fight ahead of her, and Emi does occasionally experience a flare of her symptoms, but she has shown more strength and courage than we could have ever imagined,” Werschky said.
Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis raises funds to fight and cure arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Participants dress in holiday- themed costumes and tie jingle bells to their shoes creating a festive atmosphere. This family friendly event includes a competitively timed 5K or 10K run, 5K walk, 1K kids’ Snowman Shuffle, prizes for best costume and top fundraisers, and medals for the best run times in 13 age categories. Participants will also enjoy a post-race party sponsored by Hard Rock Cafe and New Belgium Brewery. Entry fees are $30 for the 5K run/walk $35 for the 10K run and $12 for the Snowman Shuffle. All proceeds support Arthritis Foundation programs, services and research.
Register by going to www.Arthritis.org/Michigan or calling (855) 529-2728.
Arthritis is a serious disease that causes slow and painful deterioration of the body’s joints. Often mischaracterized as an “old person’s” disease, arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, including 300,000 children. In Michigan, more than 2.3 million adults and 10,300 children have arthritis -31 percent of the population.