We are honored to be apart of such a great cause. This is the 3rd year we are able to sponsor the NeSmith Way 5K to raise money to benefit the UF Health Pediatric Outreach Fund.
This event means so much to us because it hits close to home. In December 2019, our son, who was 9 at the time, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). JIA is an autoimmune disease where the immune system, which is supposed to fight germs and viruses, gets confused and attacks the body’s cells and tissues. This causes inflammation that attacks the joints and other organs. Mornings are often hard. Some days our son can barely walk because its so painful. In order to prevent joint damage, we have to give our son weekly injections of a low dose chemo to suppress his immune system as well as some other medications.
We are grateful for the medical staff at UF Shands Children’s Hospital for giving us answers after a long year of doctor appointments and un-answered questions. The hardest part was seeing our son in pain and not knowing the cause. He was alway an active child, very athletic. We began to see it affect his physical abilities and he was always so tired. Unfortunately, Tallahassee doesn’t have the pediatric specialist we need so we travel to Gainesville every few months. Our son has regular visits with his Pediatric Rheumatologist and Pediatric Ophthalmologist because JIA can also effect the eyes. He also sees a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. We are so thankful his doctor travels to Tallahassee from Gainesville so see him. Currently, doctors from 12 different pediatric specialties are treating patients in Tallahassee at 2390 Phillips Road.
Like so many families in Tallahassee, we now have a true understanding of the importance of pediatric specialties offering medical care to children.
About the NeSmith Way 5K
Registration Link: https://donate.giving.ufhealth.org/event/the-nesmith-way-5k/e344162
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Registration opens at 8 am
Meridian Meadows (Phipps Family Farm across from Maclay School)
4300 North Meridian Road, Tallahassee, FL
Proceeds from this event benefit UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and their local outreach initiatives within the Tallahassee area. The UF Health Pediatric Specialties Clinic in Tallahassee provides a unique opportunity for University of Florida physicians in Gainesville to care for patients in Tallahassee through both telehealth and in-person appointments. With more than 25 UF Health providers rotating through the practice, they are able to offer care in the following pediatric specialties:
- Infectious Disease