BENEFITING: SPONDYLITIS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
EVENT DATE: Aug 31, 2014
Hi, and thanks for visiting my donor page.
The photo of me is from the 2007 Disneyland Half Marathon, when I was running as part of the Aids Marathon Training Program, in honor of friends I've lost to AIDS. I've also run and raised money for the American Cancer Society in honor of friends and family that I've lost to cancer. This year, I've decided to raise money for a charity that is closer to home, literally.
Early in 2012, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints and organs can become involved. About 1 in every 200 people have AS, which amounts to over 1.6 million people in the United States alone.
Because it is not a well known disease, it has traditionally not gotten much attention in the medical community. Many rheumatologists are still learning about the disease and how to diagnose and treat it. And there has not been enough research into the causes of the disease, and treatments for it, until recently.
What progress that has been made, in educating doctors and the public, and in funding studies and research related to AS and other diseases in the Spondylitis family, has largely been the result of the work of the Spondylitis Association of America.
And all of this is why, this year, as I participate in my 9th Disneyland Half Marathon on Labor Day weekend, I am asking you to contribute to the SAA on my behalf, and on the behalf of my friends and everyone else with AS.
I'm one of the lucky ones - my rheumatologist diagnosed me and started treatment before there was significant damage to my spine, and before any joint fusing had taken place. While this disease has had a high impact on my life in other ways, I can still run, and do other high impact exercise, which most of my friends with AS cannot. And so I will run, and raise funds for SAA, so that more rheumatologists can be educated, and more people can be diagnosed and treated sooner, and so that research can continue in looking for the cause of this disease, and better treatments for it, and maybe, eventually, a way to prevent or cure AS once and for all.
Please contribute, and help make this happen. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.