So as I approach my 31st birthday, I realize I haven’t exactly found my “cause” yet. Most people have a charity that they’re passionate about. Maybe they participate in Relay for Life every year to honor a family member that has passed away from cancer. Maybe they run an ALS 5k each year to raise money for a cure. Maybe they put their efforts into donating to third world counties that need clean water, or shoes, or education supplies. For my dad, it’s always been the Arthritis Foundation. I think the perception of this disease is “oh your knees hurt and you feel stiff, take some Bayer aspirin and you’ll be throwing your grand kids around the backyard by lunch time.” In reality, this can also be a young person disease.
My dad, who has arthritis, continues to stay moving and cycle for the cause. He has another race coming up and he needs your support! In the guest blog below, he explains how this disease affects lives and needs to be taken seriously. If you too haven’t found your cause, think about taking the time to read and donate your Starbucks coffee $$ today. There are only 46 days left to help out a great cause. Thanks all!
Guest Blog Post: Written by David Shuey
My mother spent the last 15 years of her life living in a wheel chair. Severe arthritis robbed her of mobility and her quality of life. When you hear the word “arthritis” what comes to your mind? Aches and pains that come as a normal part of aging. Take some pills and you’ll feel fine. Nothing can be further from the truth. Osteo and Rheumatoid arthritis are chronic diseases that can cause a lifetime of pain, rob people of their dreams and even result in death. It’s time to take this disease seriously.
I started volunteering for the Arthritis Foundation almost 20 years ago because I felt helpless as I watched my Mom’s health decline. I wanted to do something. Over those years, I have learned a lot about arthritis, but the most shocking and sad fact is that kids get arthritis. In America 300,000 kids are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The impact of a child being diagnosed with arthritis is devastating for the kids and for their families. I often say that I got involved with the Arthritis Foundation because of my Mom but I stay involved because of the kids. Watching these little heroes coping with their disease breaks my heart but also inspires me.
I also suffer from serious arthritis that should be limiting my life activities but I refuse to let it. These kids and my mother taught me the difference between pain and suffering. Pain is real. It hurts. Suffering is a choice. When you experience chronic pain, you can choose to suffer…or not.
So, six years ago I rode my bicycle solo across America to raise awareness and money for the Arthritis Foundation. I raised over $70,000 with the support of my great friends and family. Not bad for an old guy with arthritis.
In September I will hop on my bicycle to pedal down the California Pacific Coast Highway with 300 other like-minded cyclists…the majority of these riders have arthritis…the others have loved ones who have arthritis. This ride hopes to raise over $1,000,000 to support the work of the Arthritis Foundation. You can support me by making a donation at:
Thanks for making a difference!
Picture below — David Shuey and his mother Marcella Shuey, who passed away in November of 2008.