Arthritis Foundation Announces 2023 National Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees

Arthritis patients Abby Ferraro of Pennsylvania and Amanda Watt of Georgia show leadership and commitment to the cause.

ATLANTA (March 30, 2023) — This year, the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis has the potential to be bigger than ever — and that’s because of the thousands of volunteers across the country who work hard to raise funds and awareness for the nation’s leading cause of disability. Two arthritis patients in particular, Abby Ferraro and Amanda Watt, are receiving national recognition for their leadership in the arthritis community.

“Our annual Walk to Cure Arthritis events celebrate people with arthritis and the people who support and care for them throughout their arthritis journey,” said Steven Taylor, Arthritis Foundation president and CEO. “Amanda and Abby represent some of our most dedicated volunteers who continue to inspire the arthritis community with their perseverance and commitment to helping us conquer the disease.”

Here’s a little more about Amanda and Abby, the 2023 Walk to Cure Arthritis national honorees.

2023 National Youth Honoree Abby Ferraro

For as long as she can remember, Abby has lived with the effects of arthritis. Her first flare occurred at 19 months old, and she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) in her right knee, ankle and pinky toe. 

Later diagnosed with uveitis and Crohn’s disease, Abby has undergone countless tests and medications to find a treatment plan that works for her. Today, she misses out on activities like gymnastics class when she’s experiencing a flare or is in pain. 

Something Abby says has helped her along her arthritis journey is the community she has found with the Arthritis Foundation. From attending annual JA camps and the JA Family Summit, she has made memories and formed relationships with others who have similar challenges. To help other JA kids know they’re not alone, she even published a book, “Everyone Has Something: Abby’s Story,” and donates its proceeds to ending arthritis.  

Abby and her family have participated in Walk to Cure Arthritis for over a decade — joining the crusade when she was just 2 years old. Abby and her team, Abby’s Army, have raised over $125,000 for Walk to Cure Arthritis, making them one of the top fundraising teams in the country. In 2019, she was named the youth honoree for the walk event in her Philadelphia community. Read more of Abby’s story.

2023 National Adult Honoree Amanda Watt

Living with one of the less common forms of arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Amanda Watt knows the virtue of patience. Diagnosed at age 26, she started experiencing pain as early as age 10. Although it didn’t stop the pain, getting a diagnosis gave her some relief so that she could finally find a treatment that worked for her, she says.

While she has tried a handful of medications and spinal treatments, Amanda regularly walks and stretches on a daily basis to help ease her pain. She says being social also helps her manage her symptoms from a mental standpoint, as well as being connected with the Arthritis Foundation in different capacities. As a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) fraternity,  which has raised millions of dollars for the Foundation since 1967, Amanda was the philanthropy chair in her local chapter. She even participated in Foundation-sponsored research studies that she identified through her job as a clinical researcher. 

After joining her first Walk to Cure Arthritis in 2020, Amanda soon emerged as a patient leader in her community and eventually sat on the planning committee for Georgia in 2022. Her efforts led to her being named the local honoree that same year. Read more of Amanda’s story.

About the Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As Champions of Yes, the Arthritis Foundation’s mission is to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and it also provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care and join the fight to conquer arthritis — uniting hearts, minds and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to conquer arthritis, visit

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