North Texans Will Walk to Cure Arthritis in May

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Arthritis Foundation’s North Texas Walk to Cure Arthritis Raises Funds for a Cure

More than a thousand walkers are supporting the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to cure arthritis and help people with arthritis live a full life by participating in the 2017 Walk to Cure Arthritis on Saturday, May 13th at Oak Point Park Amphitheater in Plano. Walk to Cure Arthritis brings together communities nationwide to fight arthritis – the nation’s leading cause of disability – which impacts more than 3.6 million adults and 25,000 children in Texas alone.

In North Texas, to help bring this event to its fullest potential, we brought together local leaders to help excite the community and fundraise, including:

  • Dr. Fehmida Zahabi, Walk to Cure Arthritis medical honoree
  • Courtney Cusack, Walk to Cure Arthritis youth honoree
  • Retired Master Sergeant Sandy Cutter Miliatary honoree
  • Parker University, Walk to Cure Arthritis North Texas sponsor

When Courtney Cusack was only 18 months old, her mother noticed she was walking funny and that her right knee was swollen, red and hot to the touch. Courtney was taken to the doctor who immediate requested x-rays and blood work – both came back normal. A couple weeks later, her knee was again swollen and red, so Courtney was taken in for more blood work, x-rays and an MRI. They were referred to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, and there Courtney was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. Since her diagnosis, Courtney has endured lots of blood work, x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, joint injections and many different medicines to help her arthritis.

Today, Courtney says, “I have had arthritis since 2011 and it has changed my life. It can make you feel grumpy and you can walk funny but it doesn’t hold me back. I participate in events with the Arthritis Foundation because it makes me feel good. I love giving back to kids like me who need someone brave like me to say it is okay you can do it!” She continues, “Some days you can’t see the arthritis in me but it is there. I hope one day God takes it away. I said Yes to being the Youth Honoree for the Walk to Cure Arthritis because I am brave and strong. I want kids and adults to understand it is okay to be different and I am brave for that. You should say Yes too because you control where you want to leave your footprints.”

“I consider it a privilege to provide patients with care for autoimmune diseases and musculoskeletal conditions. Immunology and Rheumatology continues to make remarkable progress in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Osteoporosis to name a few. We are learning to recognize and treat and in some cases prevent Inflammatory Musculoskeletal Diseases, thereby improving quality of life preventing disabilities and deformities and increasing longevity. It is a tremendous responsibility to have someone bestow their trust in you as their doctor and I consider it an honor.”

Dr. Fehmida Zahabi is a board certified physician of Rheumatology and Internal Medicine and the founder of Texas Rheumatology Care. She has been providing state-of-the-art Rheumatology and Internal Medicine Care in the North Texas area (Dallas, Richardson, Garland, Frisco, Mckinney, Allen) neighboring States, and some international clientele since 1996.

Air Force Retired Master Sergeant Sandy Cutter serves as a the Military Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation’s 2017 North Texas Walk to Cure Arthritis. He currently suffers from arthritis and did so for the majority of his Air Force career.  Arthritis has taken a toll on Sandy, his family members and the 50 million who suffer from this disease.

In the U.S., more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children live with arthritis. Costing the U.S. economy $156 billion dollars a year, arthritis affects one in five Americans and causes more activity limitation than heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

Nationally sponsored by Amgen, locals can register for the North Texas Walk to Cure Arthritis and learn more about the event by visiting or contacting Charlotte Maffia at 214.826.4361.