My name is Kate Wingate and I’m from Greensboro, North Carolina. On the outside, I look like a normal 13-year-old girl, but I have juvenile arthritis (JA). Arthritis is a disease that doesn’t present in a way that you might think, and unless I’m having a flare, no one would ever know. I’ve had JA since I was 18-months-old, so I can’t remember what it feels like to not have pain in my joints.
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.”
American chefs Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Bridges invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1938 and served them as a sweet snack and dessert at the Toll House Inn in Whitman Massachusetts. Little did they know the impact their invention would have on a little girl from Greensboro, North Carolina some 67 years later.
Nothing is more important to 23-year-old singer/songwriter Chase Bryant than his love of music or his commitment to his family. So when his 15-year-old cousin, Emma Bryant, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) at age 11, told Chase that she was striving to raise at least $20,000 to help find a cure for arthritis, Chase didn’t hesitate to help – and the first annual Music for Mobility Concert was born.
Music for Mobility will take place on November 22 at the Listening Room in Nashville, Tennessee, featuring Chase and several of his musically-accomplished friends, including Brooke Eden, Carlye Pearce, Derreck George and Shane Minor. All of the proceeds from the event will go towards the Franklin, Tennessee Jingle Bell Run/Walk, an annual 5K sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation to raise funds that will support vital research and education programs to improve the lives of those with arthritis.