Annual Psoriasis Walk continues

Alondra Gallardo, Online Managing Editor

“The treatments are just as painful as living with the condition itself,” said UCSF dermatologist Ruby Ghadilly as she spoke to a crowd of about 70 psoriasis supporters.

The National Psoriasis Foundation’s annual 5k walk dedicated to raising support, awareness and money to find a cure for the psoriatic disease, took place on Saturday morning Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. at the Crissy Field East Beach Picnic Area. 

NPF Community Development Manager Daniel Schneider said Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease or immune mediated disease, it causes inflammation immolation and excessive skin buildup and rashes. The inflammation is also internal.

 “What most people don’t understand and that inflammation in 30 percent of the patients causes arthritis,” Schneider said.  

Beginning at the check-in tent, the participants received a NPF drawstring backpack filled with pamphlets of resources for those living with the condition and a stamp card that encouraged each participant to visit each tent to fill up the stamp card that was then entered into a raffle for a $25 Amazon gift card. 

Some of the foundation’s sponsors offered participants information about clinical trials, treatments, resources and support groups.

More than eight million Americans have psoriasis according to psoriasis.org. 

The youngest person with psoriasis present at the walk was eight-years-old. 

Schneider said, “Most of these people do not participate in daily activities and have a low self-esteem because of this it causes different kinds of emotional triggers so connecting people at a younger age is important so their lives are a bit easier.”

Right before the walk around 9:45 a.m. the host introduced the teams. Dr Ghadilly briefly spoke about how the focus of her stem cell research is on psoriasis. 

“People always think I have to support it because I have it or someone close to me is affected by it but the truth is I watch my patients suffer,” said Dr. Ghadilly. 

Mission moment speaker Tim Unyuen who is also a psoriasis patient then shared his experience and journey of how he was originally misdiagnosed and his struggle of coping and living with it which then developed to psoriatic arthritis. 

Schneider said the walk used to be called the psoriasis walk but now it is NPF because they also want to include psoriatic arthritis.

CHEER San Francisco was present to provide energetic support and spirit. Cheerleader Michael Worley said, “We are basically a nonprofit that raises money for nonprofits, we are here for you.”  The squad warmed up the community by performing and leading the crowd into stretches before the walk commenced at 10 a.m. 

UCSF registered nurse Louise Crotwell said “There are way more people here than there was last year which is heartwarming.”

After the walk lunch was served and connections were built amongst the crowd.