On October 5, 2011, at the age of 27, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of arthritis which specifically targets your SI joints (in your hips), and your back and spinal column. It also affects other body parts and joints such as your eyes, ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and heels. The pain in my SI joint gets so bad on some days that I am unable to walk or be comfortable in any position; sitting, standing, lying down. Over a few months I was able to try a variety of medications- pills, injections, creams/gels, etc and I have now found a mix which eases the pain on most days. I take a muscle relaxer, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory pill, and a weekly injection of Enbrel. In adddition, I use a gel when I have join swelling. With the help of arthritis research and a great rheumatologist I was able to get my life back. Now it's my turn to give.
On September 28th, 2013, I will embark on an 8-day, 525-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Santa Monica, CA to raise awareness about arthritis, a disease with no cure which affects 1 in 5 people during their lifetime. Arthritis is not just an "old age" disease. It affects people of ages from 1 to 100. My bike ride benefits the Arthritis Foundation, an organization focused on building awareness as well as completing research to some day develop a cure for more than 2.7 million people who suffer from ankylosing spondylitis and billions of others who suffer from some other form of arthritis.
I have pledged to raise $3,000 for this ride and with your help, I will be able to not only help fund important research and outreach but also prove that arthritis doesn't have to hold you back. You will help me fulfill my dream of raising awareness and kicking "AS" by biking between 40 and 90 miles a day down the California Coast. I thank you in advance for your support in this more than worth cause!