Arthritis Foundation honors 7-year-old who has arthritis
Named one of the nation’s “Most Incredible Themed Races,” the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis will be held on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at 9 a.m. at the Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center, 301 West Fulton Street, EC210, in Grand Rapids . More than 1,000 participants are expected.
Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis raises funds to fight and cure arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Participants dress in holiday-themed costumes and tie jingle bells to their shoes creating a fun and festive atmosphere. This family-friendly event includes a competitively timed 5K run with walk option, 1K kids’ Snowman Shuffle, prizes for best costume and top fundraisers, and medals for the best run times in 13 age categories. Entry fees are $30 for the run/walk and $12 for the kid’s Snowman Shuffle. All proceeds support the Arthritis Foundation’s programs, services and research.
Register by going to www.Arthritis.org/Michigan or calling (855) 529-2728.
Arthritis is a serious disease that causes slow and painful deterioration of the body’s joints. Often mischaracterized as an “old person’s” disease, arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, including 300,000 kids. In Michigan, more than 2.3 million adults and 10,300 children have arthritis—that’s 31 percent of the population!
Owen Barrett is a 7-year-old from Walker. When he was 3-years-old, he developed a recurring rash that was misdiagnosed several times. Owen was referred to a pediatric rheumatologist who accurately diagnosed him with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The doctor said he had active inflammation in every joint he checked and that he probably had arthritis since birth.
“My husband and I were shocked,” said Aimee Barrett, Owen’s mom. “Owen never complained of pain. Not once. The doctor explained that most kids who have arthritis don’t know a life without pain, so they don’t know to complain about it. Pain is their norm. It broke my heart.”
“We hope for Owen, when he has his own children, that he can tell them, ‘I had arthritis as a child, but they found a cure,’” said Aimee. “And we hope to make so much noise about this disease that people aren’t shocked when I tell them, ‘My son has arthritis. He’s only 7-years-old.’”
For more info on the Jingle Bell Run/Walk or to register you can visit jinglebellrungrandrapids.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1121965