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NBA Coach Maurice Cheeks Teams Up with the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society (GUAES) to Call a 'Time Out for Gout'
Date:5/22/2008

Coach Cheeks partners with rheumatology experts on Gout Awareness Day to

share his story and correct misperceptions about a serious condition

NEW YORK, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia 76ers head coach and four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks is partnering with the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society (GUAES) to spread the word about gout -- a common and intensely painful form of arthritis that affects approximately three to five million Americans. The 76ers outperformed expectations by reaching the NBA playoffs, but as his team was making its run, Coach Cheeks was experiencing a personal struggle with gout. In February, the gout symptoms affecting the joints in his big toe were so severe that he had to coach several games wearing only one shoe.

"When people ask me to describe what gout feels like, I'm at a loss for words. I had some tough injuries in my playing career, but I've never experienced anything as painful as gout," said Coach Cheeks. "My public struggles with gout have placed me in a unique position to see how widespread the misperceptions about this condition are. If people understood just how painful and debilitating gout can be, I think attitudes would change very quickly."

"Coach Cheeks' story reflects the alarming disconnect between the general public's understanding of gout and the painful reality that so many people living with the condition experience on a daily basis," said N. Lawrence Edwards, M.D., chairman of the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society, and a specialist in rheumatology and professor of medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville. "Gout is no laughing matter. It is a chronic disease that can lead to excruciating pain and long-term damage to your joints and kidneys if not managed properly."

Gout is caused by an accumulation of sodium urate crystals in the joints and other tissues. These crystals form when there is an abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood (a condition known as
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SOURCE Gout & Uric Acid Education Society
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