Are you aware that today over 66 million people have arthritis or chronic joint pain? On average, that is approximately one in three people that are suffering from arthritis at this moment. That is almost as large as the population of Virginia...times 10!
Do you think the chronic joint pain caused by arthritis is reserved for the elderly? It isn't limited to those that are older. Arthritis affects all ages. There are nearly 300,000 children in America with some form of arthritis or rheumatic disease.
If you happen to be one of the fortunate who is not currently suffering from arthritis, don't think it is not affecting you. Arthritis costs the U.S. economy $86.2 billion annually. That is not a mistake. The cost to our country is in the billions of dollars each year.
I know several people whose lives are impacted by arthritis and related diseases. My wife is one of those. Kim continually experiences joint pain due to arthritis and lupus. She takes medications daily and frequently visits doctors and physical therapists to cope with the hurting. Surgeries have also taken place in the past.
Do you know someone with arthritis? You might be surprised at what he or she has to go through to deal with the hurting. You might also be surprised at the limits it places on daily living.
I decided to make a difference. I became a volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation. They are the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions with advocacy, programs, services and research. They partner with organizations to offer exercise programs and courses specifically for those affected by arthritis. They offer these programs in my own hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Each year the Arthritis Foundation holds walks across the country to raise funds and awareness. My team, the Pain Killers, participated in the Fredericksburg Arthritis Walk this past May. We helped raise more than $33,000.00 in Fredericksburg for the Arthritis Foundation. I now have the honor of being selected as the chairperson for the 2006 Fredericksburg Arthritis Walk.
I encourage you to honor that person you know with arthritis by helping with the Arthritis Walk in your area. Get your friends and coworkers involved as well. There are many ways to get involved. You will make new friends and have fun while working to eliminate the #1 cause of disability.
To learn more about arthritis and to find an Arthritis Walk in your area go to http://www.arthritis.org/ or call 404-872-7100. To join or donate to Team Pain Killers go to http://arthritiswalkfredericksburg.kintera.org/faf/r.asp?t=12&i=150101&g=1161782. Roger Carr is the founder of Everyday Giving (http://www.everydaygiving.com/) and a volunteer with the Arthritis Foundation, Virginia Chapter.