Residents Team Up to Support First Local Psoriasis Walk

Team members of the upcoming Walk for the Cure for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, a family friendly 1K and 5K walk, led by Terri Eggeman of Valrico, are eagerly looking forward to the event.

Saturday, November 6 is turning out to be a very special day for many local residents in the Tampa Bay area, as the date marks the first-ever Walk for the Cure for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, a family friendly 1K and 5K walk to be held at Ballast Point Park, located at 5300 Interbay Blvd. in Tampa. 
The Walk to Cure Psoriasis has attracted more than 10,000 walkers and volunteers, and has raised more than $3 million for foundation research, education and advocacy programs.
Psoriasis is the most common of all the autoimmune diseases. Having psoriasis puts people at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory diseases.  
According to Valrico resident and walk team leader Terri Eggeman, participant registration will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the walk down on Bayshore Blvd. at 9 a.m.
“We are expecting between 200-300 people for the walk,” Eggeman said, but added that, while there are currently 10 teams formed, event supporters hope to at least double that number in the coming weeks.
The Tampa Walk will become one of 19 locations during 2010 supporting the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Supporting the effort to find a cure, Eggeman, who was diagnosed two years ago with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, said that community support is extremely important.
“I felt overwhelmed when I got the diagnosis of a loss of control over my health,” Eggeman said. “My arthritis made it hard to move comfortably or even get comfortable enough to sleep. I had severe lesions on my feet and ankles and was unable to wear socks and barely able to wear shoes for eight weeks.” 
Perhaps the most sobering fact in regards to the disease is that it affects children, seniors, men, women and people of all races.
Current estimates reveal that 7.5 million Americans are affected by this incurable and progressive debilitating disease.  They often face discrimination and embarrassment because others mistakenly think the condition is contagious. 
“This is why public education is so important,” Eggeman said. “The more people know about psoriasis – that it’s chronic, common and not contagious – the better the quality of life for the people with the disease.”
Thanks to celebrities such as Leann Rimes, the spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation, and pro golfer Phil Mickleson, who spoke about the disease after recently announcing his being treated for psoriatic arthritis, those affected with Psoriasis have help spreading awareness and searching for a cure. 
  The Tampa Walk for a Cure will help raise funds for educational programs for patients, provide local support groups, material placement in local community centers and doctors throughout the Tampa Bay area. 
To learn how you can become a sponsor, form a walk team or simply participate, please contact Deborah Barnard, community development manager, at 1-954-495-997 or by e-mail at dbarnard@psoriasis.org.  Register online by going to www.psoriasis.org/walk.