State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) is raising awareness of a potentially debilitating condition that affects significantly more people than may be aware. House Resolution 828, sponsored by Rep. Mazzochi and passed on April 8th, declares the month of May 2022 Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month” in the State of Illinois. Rep. Mazzochi will further help raise awarness by hosting a free webinar on May 4th via Zoom with local experts on the condition.
Spondyloarthritis is the name given to a family of incurable, chronic rheumatic diseases that affect 1 in 100 Americans. Many people, especially Black women, impacted by the disease remain undiagnosed due to inadequate awareness, with the average diagnostic delay being 7-10 years.
Symptoms of spondyloarthritis typically begin before the age of 45, and can begin as early as childhood, with early signs including frequent pain and stiffness in the lower back. Complications can include spinal fusion, fractures, eye problems, and inflammation in other organs, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Early diagnosis is critical in treating and preventing these complications and reducing medical disability.
Rep. Mazzochi is hosting an online information session to provide resources and education about the disease. The webinar will take place on Zoom on Wednesday, May 4, from 7-8pm. Panelists include Dr. Ashraf Darwish, an orthopedic spine surgeon, and Dr. Nisha Dsilva, a rheumatologist who treats Spondoloarthridis. Rep. Mazzochi sponsored the legislation at the behest of a concerned constituent, who will also be on the webinar. She will tell her story of years of pain and misdiagnosis.
“Early diagnosis is the key to treating this disease and living life to the fullest,” Rep. Mazzochi said. “Patients can only advocate for their healthcare if they are informed and aware of possible conditions they may have. My webinar will help inform people about a common, yet often overlooked disease.”
Click here to register for the Zoom webinar. Interested participants can also follow along via Facebook live at www.facebook.com/RepDeanneMazzochi. Those with questions about this information session can reach out to Rep. Mazzochi’s office at (630) 852-8633.