Each year as the leaves begin to fall and the weather gets a few degrees cooler, Peyton Holstein of Lake Oswego, Oregon, along with her older brother, Tobias and four of their cousins, begin researching both local and national charity organizations. While it is easy to assume this is for a school assignment, it’s not. Each cousin is readying their pitch for a unique family Thanksgiving tradition.
Approximately eight years ago, Peyton and Tobias’ great uncle Ron began donating to different charities in the six cousins’ names for Christmas. When the kids were younger, he chose a charity and presented each child with the donation made in their name along with an explanation of how their charitable gift will help the organization. One year it was a donation of goats to a village in Africa that would help provide the village with milk and fertilizer for crops and gardens. Another year after the earthquake in Haiti, it was a gift of water and rice to fulfill the basic needs of a devastated community.
As the kids grew older, Uncle Ron asked each of them to find their own cause and research the organization – from an organization’s mission to charity rating, how much per dollar is invested to how they intend to use the donation, and make their pitch at the family Thanksgiving get together. The six cousins, ages 10-24 years old, listen to one another, embark on a discussion, make ballots and vote between themselves. The Arthritis Foundation was the overwhelming choice for this year’s donation!
For 17-year-old Allison Alberts of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, waking up with pain is an everyday occurrence for her. Some days the pain is manageable and can be helped along by a hot shower or a run to loosen up her body. Other days, Allison might struggle to get out of bed and looks to her father, Jamie, to help her walk or give her joints a comforting massage.
“There are many days I wish I could be normal, let alone feel normal for a day – a day without any pain, “says Allison. “But complaining does nothing. Complaining won’t take away the pain and complaining won’t allow my fingers to look normal. The way I go about my day is to let my arthritis and my body know that they will not stop me.”
Introducing the first nation-wide RiverRide 100 bike riding challenge, created for riders of all skill levels, anywhere in the nation! Founded by Jeff Krakoff in 2013, this year’s RiverRide 100 is open to anyone, anywhere, with any level of bike-riding ability, and all proceeds from the challenge benefit the Arthritis Foundation to help:
Raise funds to support advocacy efforts and improve access to arthritis care
Provide tools and resources to help people with arthritis live better
Fund critical research to investigate new diagnostic tools, treatments and ultimately, find a cure for arthritis
She is a healthy, energetic 26 year-old from the outside, but Meg Maley has been battling with psoriatic arthritis most of her life. In the summer of 2015, Meg had the opportunity to become a houseguest on the CBS reality show, “Big Brother.” Before and during the show, Meg kept her disease a secret, fearing the thought of others putting limitations on her. After the show ended, Meg decided to use her newly found platform as an opportunity to finally share her story of living with psoriatic arthritis. Continue reading Meg Maley Uses “Big Brother” Experience to Share Arthritis Story→
If you ask him, David Fortanbary has always been an “outdoorsy person,” and when you talk to him, you can hear his ambition and zest for life ringing loud and clear. Couple those things with the impact arthritis has had on his immediate family, and you’ll understand the makings of one of our most passionate volunteers.
David is all too familiar with just how severe arthritis can be. His father passed away in 2013 due to complications from arthritis. As David recalls, “He got a hip replacement that went bad because of progressive arthritis. When he went back in for a revision procedure, he didn’t make it out of surgery.”