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Sally Fullman: Osteoporosis: The Silent Disease
April 10, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pmFree
Some years ago Sally Fullman made the discovery that she had osteoporosis, a condition defined by low bone density. “Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease,” Ms. Fullman explains. “You don’t know you have it until you fall and have a fracture. Once it is diagnosed you’ve already lost 25-30% of your bone mass.”
Sally will talk about some of the fascinating things that have come from her involvement with bone health — serving as a charter member of a patient board for Eli Lily, the pharmaceutical company that developed the only medication to build new bones; reviewing research proposals for special military needs; becoming an advocate for better bones with local and state officials; developing community projects to help increase awareness; serving on the NJ Interagency Council on Osteoporosis which helps coordinate programs throughout the state; expanding Healthy Bones, which is a free program to help seniors with weak bones offered at community sites throughout the state of New Jersey.
Healthy Bones classes are designed to improve strength, posture, balance, and range of motion. They also make a point of creating warm and welcoming places where people can make friends as well as learn about diet and physical health. “We try hard to keep our discussions on an educational, informative level,” Forman says. “You’re with a group of people who have a common problem but aren’t sitting home saying, ‘Oh, I can’t do this and that.’ People get to know one another spontaneously. A warm social bond is formed.”
Essentially the program is volunteer-based and runs on love and commitment. “Many places offer exercises, but very few focus specifically on bones … and no other ‘bones’ program has the education component,” adds Forman.
In 2011, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recognized Sally’s work with The Steps for Strong Bones Award.
[Includes text from an essay by Jacqueline Herships for her blog, “The Little Old Lady Stays Put (or Doesn’t)”]