Miss A Columnist

As a 4-year Leukemia survivor, Stacey Mertes is heavily involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Diabetes Association. Her 7-year-old son, Logan, is a recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, but keeps Stacey on her toes with his own active fundraising endeavors such as the Columbia Tower climb (for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), WaMu stair climb (for Cystic Fibrosis), and several triathlons and other stair climbs around the city. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Stacey has lived in many of the local neighborhoods (including spending 11 years next to the Pike Place Market), since graduating from the University of Washington. She finally settled down in the most diverse zip code in the country, Columbia City, where she enjoys walks to the many restaurants, farmers market, and art events nearby. Her favorite hobby of late is finding the most fun “free” things to do around Seattle with her son. She loves movies, plays, visiting the Pacific Science Center and other museums, and finding those geocaching adventures.

Seattle’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk For Arthritis 2012

 

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis (Photo Credit: Arthritis Foundation)

As Jack Benny said at an awards ceremony, “I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either.” Neither do the 294,000 children suffering from juvenile arthritis (JA) or the 50 million Americans (1 in 5) also dealing with it on a daily basis. They say that within 20 years, the number of people suffering from arthritis will soar. By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans will have arthritis – unless the trend is reversed.

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis®, a 5 kilometer run/walk, for the Arthritis Foundation is this coming weekend, Sunday, December 9th, 2012 in downtown Seattle to fight the nation’s most common cause of disability. This fun and festive event helps to raise money for an ailment that is no longer a disease of the elderly. In fact, two-thirds of the people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.

One of this year's honorees

Nicholas Akey, one of this year’s honoree for Seattle’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis 2012 (Photo Credit: Dayna Akey)

I have the privilege to know one of the honorees this year, Nicholas Akey, who is a first grader (7 years old) at my son’s school who has been dealing with this disease for the past 4 years. Of the 100 different diseases that make up arthritis, Nicholas has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis that affects his ankles. “There are mornings that I have to crawl around to get ready for school and my younger brother, Mathew, helps me get dressed because the pain is so bad.” When I asked Nicholas how he gets through the bad days, he simply states, “I just try to do my best to avoid the things that hurt.” This mature, well-spoken child says that one of the hardest parts of the disease is having to miss out on everyday fun activities like PE or recess.

Nicholas’s Knights has over 95 participants in this year’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, and he hopes that “I can feel better someday when they find a cure.” Nicholas’s advice for other kids living with the disease is to be willing to try different types of medication to help relieve the pain. The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis will help find those medications that help relieve the pain so he and others can lead a normal life and hopefully eventually find a cure.

The Arthritis Foundation leads the way in helping people with arthritis live better today and create better tomorrows through new treatments, better access and, ultimately, cures.

WHEN: Sunday, December 9, 2012 beginning at 8:00 a.m. See the Event Details page for more information.

WHERE:
Westlake Center
Downtown Seattle
400 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Ph. 206-467-1600

REGISTER: Online registration is closed, but you can register in person at Super Jock ‘N Jill through Friday, December 7, 2012.
7210 E Greenlake Drive N
Seattle, WA 98115
Ph. 206-522-7711

DONATE: Donate to teams like Nicholas’s Knights  or other great teams or individuals on the donation page.

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