Northwest NEWS

July 23, 2001

Editorial

Runner will honor grandmother, great-grandmother

I have some wonderful and exciting news to share with you. In March 2001, my mom and I walked in the St. Patrick's Day Dash. It was there that I was handed literature from the Arthritis Foundation about training for a marathon (26.2 miles) with Joints in Motion.
   I decided I've been looking for a challenge and this would be it. The hardest part would be raising money.
   I need to raise $4,500 and in return the Arthritis Foundation will send me to Dublin Ireland on Oct. 29 to run a marathon. Even though I know the $4,500 will go to research and programs, it is still difficult to see the fun in fundraising or asking individuals for money but because I feel very strongly about helping find a cure, I must try.
   Chances are you know someone who is affected by arthritis. There are over 100 types of arthritis and related diseases, such as fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, lupus and gout to name a few.
   At this time there is no cure. Over 43 million Americans are challenged by tasks that some of us take for granted, including myself. Nevertheless, after educating myself about this disease and discovering the statistics I can no longer take my good health for granted.
   I'm not only doing this for the cause I'm doing this to give back to someone who has made an impact on my life.
   That person is my great-grandmother who suffers from arthritis. She has always been such a positive influence on my life from simple things to life-changing experiences that make us who we are.
   I've chosen my great-grandmother as my honoree; she has the strength that inspires me to complete this challenge.
   During the course of writing this letter, my grandmother was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her spine. Therefore, this will not only be for my great-grandmother, but this will also be for my family, friends and people I meet along the way.
   Now that I talked a little about why and for whom I'm completing this adventure, I want to tell you how you can make a difference. Please think about making a donation to the Arthritis Foundation.
   I want to reach my fundraising goal by August so I can focus on my training. The donation you make will be tax-deductable, but more importantly it will be going to people you know with arthritis, children with arthritis or even yourself. Please pass this along to friends or family members. For information or donations, visit www.arthritis.org or gtwsmith@aol.com.
   I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter and thank you in advance for your support and donation in my greatest challenge yet.
   Angela Phelps Smith, Monroe