BENEFITING: ARTHRITIS NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION
At the old age of 21, I started experiencing random pains all over my body. It would bounce from my neck to my toes to my elbow and all around again. After testing negative for everything from lead poisoning to leukemia, I finally ended up at a Rheumatologist, who used an ultrasound to diagnose me with Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA for short.
RA is a chronic disease where your body decides that the connective tissues in your body don't belong. Your immune system attacks your joints, but it also attacks the tissues around the heart and lungs. It presents itself differently in different people and finding the right combination of medication and diet is a bit of a pain in the rear.
I've lived with RA for three years and now with an aggressive medication regime, I can finally say that I have pain free days. The hope is that by keeping the inflammation down, I can reduce and hopefully stop my joints from receiving permanent damage. I might have RA, but RA doesn't have me.
Genetic research about RA is growing rapidly, and there may be a chance that genetic modification will be starting within the next 7 years. So for this hike, I'm looking to give back, and I need your help!
The Lost Coast Trail is a 25 (24.8) mile hike in California, and I'm hiking to raise awareness (RA is not an "old person" disease), celebrate my health, bring inspiration, and to raise money for the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF), which gives grants to scientists studying RA and potential cures. ANRF has been a Charity Navigator 4-Star Charity for eight years in a row! They fund research for all types of arthritis, but for the purpose of this hike, I will be donating to RA grants only. You can learn more about them at: http://www.curearthritis.org/.
My goal is raise $500, and I hope you'll join me!