|On April 21st I will participate in my 5th marathon, the Boston Marathon. This one is very important not only because of the devastation at last years race but because this year I will be Racing For A Cure in support of the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) and I am hoping you'll join me in supporting ANRF’s mission. I will be using my healthy joints to run for kids who aren’t so fortunate. I found out about these very special Juvenile Arthritis kids on my friend Christine Schwab’s Facebook page, called Christine’s Kids. I read the stories and saw the photos of kids of all ages who are dealing with a disease so few people know about. And yet there are 300,000 kids in the U.S. that are bullied and teased because people don’t understand that kids get arthritis too. Arthritis is not a disease of just the old, these kids have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease that attacks every joint and organ, including eyes. They fight everyday for what most kids don’t even think about, a normal childhood. Simply stated the mission is to find new treatments and/or a cure for arthritis and its related autoimmune diseases.
I've been an anesthesiologist for 35 years, primarily at Torrance Memorial Hospital/Medical Center. Over the years I've seen our enter grow from a medium sized hospital to a major tertiary center serving an area extending from the West Side to Long Beach.
When I found out that I had qualified to run the 2014 Boston Marathon, I realized that it was not only special for me, but also an opportunity. In view of the bombing a year ago, there has been a great deal of interest in the running community and also with the general public. I thought it would be very special if I could run on behalf of a worthwhile organization and help with their fundraising. And then I met Christine’s Kids and the ANRF and after seeing videos of the babies trying to crawl, kids trying to walk and run and do all the ordinary things kids should be able to do, I knew I wanted to run for them. At the ANRF 91 cents out of every donated dollar goes straight into research grants. Grants that have helped change the world of arthritis patients of every age.
I understand the need to project hope and optimism for these kids who have suffered more than most people do during their entire lives. I hope you will join the ANRF, Christine’s Kids and myself in making a difference!