Get in the Holiday Spirit:
The Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk returns this holiday season to raise funds to fight and cure arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. In nearly 150 cities across the nation, thousands of people will take to the streets in honor of the millions living with this crippling and potentially life-threatening disease in the US.
Voted one of the nation’s “Most Incredible Themed Races” in 2012, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk is a fun and meaningful way to make a difference in the fight to end arthritis, a serious disease that affects 50 million Americans, both adults and children.
Andy Boockmeier began participating in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in honor of his daughter, Bridget, who was diagnosed with arthritis when she was 4 years old. Now at the age of 12, she has endured several different medications for her arthritis, including injections and chemotherapy.
“I don’t know if I can really put into words the feelings that you have when your child gets diagnosed with the disease,” says Andy. “Bridget would wake up in the mornings and try to put her feet down on the floor, but then immediately start to cry because her knees were so swollen.”
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not an “old person’s disease.” There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that affect people of all ages. In fact, two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.
“Arthritis affects a lot of kids, like my Bridget,” says Andy. “The Jingle Bell Run is near and dear to me. It gives our family and community an opportunity to have fun and rally around this important cause.”
Since 1984, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk has been an outlet for nearly two million participants across the country to help raise funds to fight and cure arthritis through research, education and community programs.
“Arthritis is a serious disease causing terrible pain and suffering,” says Ann M. Palmer, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “We’re committed to fighting for a cure for Bridget and the other 50 million people with arthritis.”
The Jingle Bell Run/Walk is a festive event where families, neighbors and co-workers come together in holiday-inspired attire for 3.1 miles of running, walking and sharing holiday spirit in an effort to raise funds for a cure. To find and register for the event in your community, visit arthritis.org/jbr.