Monday, December 12, 2011

The 2011 Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk for Arthritis

Just like last year, yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny day - the perfect day to take a walk!! Most of the alumni from last year's Team Z returned to walk again, and with a few more additions this year we had a team of 13 people and 3 dogs!! 

APL and I went down to the walk early to volunteer. During registration, we each wandered around with a clip board and asked for signatures on a petition urging Congress to fund much-needed arthritis research. Between the two of us, I would say that we probably collected at least 100 signatures, maybe more. (Want to sign the petition yourself? There's an online version you can sign!). We also signed up those who were interested to become Arthritis Foundation E-Advocates, who will receive Action Alerts when important arthritis-related issues are debated on Capitol Hill and can now add their voices to the issue in less than 5 minutes. (Want to become an E-Advocate yourself? Sign up here! It's a super simple way to help out!!)

This year the Denver Jingle Bell Walk raised around $76,000 for arthritis research. Team Z was responsible for $2,055 of the funds raised - and we came in third for overall fund raising. Thank you so very much to each and every one of you who supported Team Z!!

I'm also excited that my friends and family, once again, walked coast-to-coast against arthritis!! My sister, her boyfriend, and two of their friends walked "with us" in Seattle yesterday. And my brother-in-law's girlfriend, MK, had a team of 12 at their walk in Arlington, VA on December 3rd. They dressed up as the 12 days of Christmas and won the costume contest for their walk!! (MK is particularly amazing for doing the walk this year as she was recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, another type of chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the SI joints, spine, and hip joints. She has her own blog about her journey with AS, and she is an inspiration!)  Between the three teams, my friends and family raised over $3,500 for the Arthritis Foundation this year. And that is really amazing.

And how did I do volunteering and walking yesterday while pregnant and dealing with completely untreated RA? I'm not going to lie - I'm seriously achy today. My back, hips, legs, and ankles are killing me. Honestly I think the 2 hours I spent standing while collecting petition signatures was the hardest part - I was sore before the walk even started so I really struggled through that 5k. But I finished, and I'm really glad that I did. It felt like an important accomplishment to cross that finish line, holding River's leash and APL's hand - with our newest family member on board too.


Heather said...

My friends and I did our walk in Providence last weekend. It was beautiful day and I got to spend it with 8 of my closest friends and 3 canine companions! We only raised $655 dollars - but we threw the team together really fast!

~Mariah~ said...

HEATHER: I think $655 is extremely awesome!! Every little bit helps. ~;o)

Unknown said...

So AWESOME!!!We don't have one her in LA yet. I think they are trying to get one together for 2012. But I am going to walk this coming spring. That's for sure!

~Mariah~ said...

EMILY: You're right - it doesn't look like there is a jingle bell walk in LA. Weird. I'm fairly certain there is one in LA - or at least one in the OC - in May. There may have been a Santa Monica one in May too (I tried to get family and friends to sign up for it last year, so I know there are southern california options) It would be great if you would walk then! You can walk in spirit for me, cause I'll be 8 months pregnant in May so I don't think I'll be doing any 5ks! ~;o)

Mandy said...

Soooo great!! Our walk is this Saturday!!

~Mariah~ said...

MANDY: Glad you are walking! Have fun!!