Last night on Twitter, Sarah mentioned she was considering entering a 5K. I replied that while I’ve volunteered at the run, I’ve never been able to run, since I have arthritis. (More on that in a sec.) And, faster than you can say, “Wham, bam, thank you mam,” Sarah was registered for the run!
Then, came the most important part, the planning of the 5K wardrobe. Of course it had to have LOTS of jingle. Oh! And, the most fashionable of Menorah headwear.
When I was 14, I began to get mysterious pains in my legs. Over the next 4 years, I was diagnosed with pinched nerves, pulled muscles, and teenage-girl hysteria. (Seriously, I had 3 doctors stare me down and say nothing was wrong with me even though I KNEW my legs hurt.) However, when I was 18, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease—an auto-immune intestinal disease, that resulted in my seeing a rheumatologist. (Often, people with a Crohn’s will get a secondary form of arthritis during a flare-up.) Not only did I have Crohn’s related arthritis, I also had another, second form of arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis. (Yes, I seem to have hit the arthritis jackpot.)
One of the best support systems that I found in my 20s was a young adults with arthritis support group. We met regularly for advice, support, and socializing, and volunteered for arthritis-related events, including the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell run.
Over the years, I’ve had 7 surgeries (including a revision on my right hip-replacement this past February), braces, medications, and more scans, tests, and x-rays than you can shake a stick at. The Arthritis Foundation provides research grants, education for people with arthritis and their families, and exercise classes, as well as lots of other incredible programs. You can learn more about them, here.
I’m so touched that Sarah is not only participating in an event that will support the Arthritis Foundation’s efforts, but that she will also be doing it in my honor.
Please support Sarah’s effort in raising money for the Arthritis Foundation.
Run, Sarah, run!