An article in the Taunton Daily Gazette by Susan Parkou talks about the fact that the challenge of running the Aug. 23 Hip Hop 5K to benefit hip disease is nothing compared to the obstacles faced by the race’s founder every day.
Brave young woman ,Easton resident Emily Cioffi, who suffers from long-term hip dysplasia, keeps mobile by wearing a foot-to-hip brace and getting around on crutches.
She has also endured multiple surgeries and spent months in rehabilitation to keep her degenerative disease at bay.
The 23-year-old former dancer wasn’t diagnosed until she was 17 and struggles to accept the advice of doctors that she must adapt to her new lifestyle.
“I was told in February that this is, for all intents and purposes, a permanent disability and that I need to learn how to change my life to accommodate it,” she said.
The mentally and physically exhausting condition hasn’t stopped the 2009 Oliver Ames graduate from swimming in races (using only her arms,) completing a triathlon relay and learning how to hand cycle.
She’s also busy organizing her second annual Hip Hop 5K to benefit the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital hip program.
She launched the race last year in her hometown and, on a hope and a prayer, contacted the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) in Orlando, for backing.
To her surprise, the organization and its fundraising wing, One Hip World, invited her to join their leadership team to spread the Hip Hop 5K beyond Easton.
The event is now part of a national group of Hip Hop 5Ks with teams in upstate New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Cape Cod, New Jersey and Florida.
Last year, more than 300 people participated in the Easton race, raising $20,000 to help fund hip research, treatment, community and patient awareness outreach.
The race this year will include a 10K and a two-mile walk.
“It was an extremely exciting first year and we are very much looking forward to seeing what this year brings,” Cioffi said.
The second annual Hip Hop 2014 5K/10K Run and 2-Mile Walk will take place at 9 a.m. on Aug. 23 at Oliver Ames High School.
Main Picture – HipHop 5K founder, Emily Cioffi of Easton, middle, with close friends, Sarah LeClerc, left, and Ben McGandy, both of Easton, are all smiles after the 2013 race at Oliver Ames High School.