#HipNJ‘s own Lisa Marie Latino sits down with Isabella and Connie Masullo to discuss their participation in the 2018 New Jersey Walk to Cure Arthritis in West Orange. The event will be held at the Clipper Pavilion on May 5, 2018.
At the young age of three, Connie could tell that Bella had trouble walking. After seeing that her daughter was hesitant to put weight on her legs, she brought her for a medical assessment. From the initial round of visits and blood tests, they received a diagnosis of Lyme’s Disease for which Bella received a leg brace. Instead of helping little Bella, the brace made it worse and Connie insisted that she see another specialist. The Pediatric Rheumatologist finally diagnosed Bella with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis which Connie describes as “devastating”.
It took about eight months to find the right balance of medications, but with Connie’s perseverance and Bella’s inspiring attitude, they managed to find an answer. Connie describes the difference before and after proper medical intervention as being “night and day”. Bella now enjoys her dance competitions and a very active lifestyle.
The origin of this and other arthritic diseases is still unknown, with doctors and researchers working hard to find a cure. To help raise money for the cause, their team Bella’s Butterflies is participating in the 2018 Walk to Cure Arthritis. Bella will be handing out flyers at her school, Jefferson Elementary in Roxbury, to any enthusiastic participants.