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Me (right) and Team Blue Cross teammate Sandra Williams (left) at the 2022 Walk to Cure Arthritis. My Blue Cross family has my back every day!Everyone knows someone with arthritis. It affects more than 54 million Americans, including 300,000 children. In Louisiana, nearly one million people have some form of arthritis, including an estimated 5,000 children. There are only two pediatric rheumatologists in the state.

I used to think arthritis was just some aches and pains that grandmas got when they got older. Then, after a frustrating search for answers, I was diagnosed at age 21 with rheumatoid arthritis. For a long time I faced relentless pain, multiple doctor visits and treatment, missed work and school, limited mobility, a maze of medical and insurance paperwork and the heartbreaking desire to live a full life without the limitations that arthritis creates.

Today I am lucky to still be working full-time, thanks to a whole team of supporters that include friends and family, coworkers, doctors, nurses and physical therapists. I've had both hips and both knees replaced, and I frequently walk with a cane or use a wheelchair. 

I'm lucky enough to still stand and walk a short distance. And I was out at the Baton Rouge Walk to Cure Arthritis with my cane and a lot of help from my coworkers and friends. 

This Walk is the largest gathering of the arthritis community in the world. It raises funds for research, which is really the most important to me because it helps us develop resources, better treatments and maybe, oh maybe, one day, a cure. 

This Walk is something even bigger than arthritis itself. I have joined the movement to improve the lives of people battling arthritis. Will you step up and help me?

It's not too late to support my fundraising campaign to help find an eventual cure for this frustrating and devastating disease. The 2022 WTCA is behind us, but you can still make the future brighter for people from age 2 to 102 living with arthritis. And please mark your calendar for next May and the 2023 WTCA.

Thank you!

Team Blue Cross at the 2022 Walk to Cure Arthritis in Baton Rouge, La.

 


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