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Arthritis Walk in Santa Barbara

Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2006

By: Laura Kath (Expired article)

Los Alamos, CA -

The Santa Barbara County Branch of the Arthritis Foundation invites all ages, abilities and their four-legged friends to participate in the 5th annual ARTHRITIS WALK on Saturday, May 20, 2006. Walkers and their canine companions will enjoy beautiful ocean views along the bluffs of the Santa Barbara City College West Campus.

The ARTHRITIS WALK course distance is 5k (3.1 miles), with 3k (1.8 miles) or 1k (0.6 miles) options. Participant check-in at the Santa Barbara City College West Campus begins at 9:00 a.m., followed by refreshments, entertainment, and health expo; with the WALK starting at 10:00 a.m.--held rain or shine.

Each WALK participant is encouraged to raise $100 or more (payable to the Arthritis Foundation by cash, check or credit card). Any donation amount is welcome. Early registration is requested. Walkers with arthritis will receive a gift of special blue "hero" caps to show that they are walking to help take control of their arthritis. Major sponsors for the event are Amgen, Abbott Laboratories, COX Cable, Dole and Wal-Mart.

The 2006 Santa Barbara ARTHRITIS WALK honoree is Natascha Skerczak, a third-year political science major at University of California, Santa Barbara. When Natascha was 12 years old, she was in great pain, could not even hold a pencil and had to rely on a wheelchair for mobility. Eventually, she became hospitalized and was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), a disease that affects 50,000 children in the U.S. Now, Natascha is able to help others with JRA by volunteering as a camp counselor for Camp Esperanza, the Arthritis Foundation's special camp for children with arthritis.

According to 2006 Honorary Chair C.J. Ward, KEYT-TV News Anchor, "Anyone who has arthritis or wants to help fight arthritis is welcome to participate. We encourage company teams, families, friends and their dogs to join me and Natashca for this special morning."

Arthritis affects 66 million Americans, including one-in-three adults and more than 300,000 children. Arthritis is the number-one cause of disability in the United States. All proceeds raised at the WALK will be used for exercise programs, self-help groups, educational programs and health services, which help improve the quality of life for the estimated 70,000 men, women and children who are diagnosed with arthritis in Santa Barbara County. Nationally, the 2005 Arthritis Walks raised $6 million to support programs and research to find a cure for the 120 different arthritis-related diseases. There are many things that Americans can do to prevent arthritis from imposing limits on their lives - from exercising to relieve pain to funding research for others - and the Arthritis Walk provides them with a fun and motivating way to do both.

For more registration forms and information, call (805) 892-5556, or visit href=http://www.SBCAarthritiswalk.kintera.org.

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