America Gets Moving In The Fight Against Arthritis
May is Arthritis Action Month – a time when Americans across the country are lacing up their walking shoes to join the fight against the nation's leading cause of disability. Through June, several hundred cities across the country will host an Arthritis Walk, an annual event held by the Arthritis Foundation to raise funds to fight arthritis and spread the message that regular movement can help prevent and treat arthritis.
More than just aches and pains, arthritis is a chronic condition that can make everyday activities such as getting dressed and preparing food seem almost impossible. The Arthritis Walk helps those living with arthritis by raising funds for arthritis research, education and programs for better living in communities across the country.
The Arthritis Walk also celebrates year-round movement as a means of preventing and treating arthritis. Just 30 minutes of exercise each day can be effective in reducing pain, stiffness and inflammation and improving mobility.
"Sometimes starting an exercise program can seem difficult, but it's important for people to realize they can start slow and have fun. The Arthritis Walk is a great way to get some exercise with family and friends while raising critical funds to fight arthritis," says Dr. Patience White, Arthritis Foundation vice president of public health.
To date, arthritis affects 50 million Americans, or approximately 22 percent of the US population. While often associated with old age, arthritis can affect men, women and children of any age. In fact, there are currently 300,000 children in the US living with arthritis.
With such knowledge, local Arthritis Walk events will feature hometown honorees—youth, adult and medical. Nationally, the Arthritis Foundation has honored The Shultz Family. Lisa Shultz and Kim Shultz, the parents of Amelia and Liberty Shultz, two very heroic children both suffering from arthritis, have become national spokespeople and advocates for the Arthritis Walk.
The story of the Shultz family has enlightened many and brought awareness to a debilitating disease that can affect people of all ages.
"No one, not my children, not anyone else's children, should have to live with pain," said Lisa Shultz.