East Texans walking for a cause

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Released by Nancy Johnson with Texas Spine & Joint Hospital:

TYLER, TX – Michelle Murray, a young adult with Rheumatoid Arthritis from East Texas, will walk with friends and family on Saturday, May 1, to help raise awareness and money to fight arthritis at the 2010 East Texas Arthritis Walk at Rose Rudman Park in Tyler.

At the age of 14 Michelle was first diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis but was not given effective treatment. She has battled extreme joint pain, particularly in her right wrist and knees for many years. Three years ago, at 33 she saw Dr. Graves at Texas Arthritis and was finally properly diagnosed. She now takes daily shots to manage the pain and has had a total left knee replacement and will have the other knee done soon. Michelle says "it is extremely important to me to raise awareness about arthritis symptoms and treatments so that others will not go untreated or under-treated as I did for so many years".

Arthritis is more widespread than imagined, affecting 46 million Americans, or one out of five adults and nearly 300,000 children. Here in Texas, arthritis affects more than 3.9 million people. "We hope to see a lot of East Texans come out and walk for this important cause," says Rachel Martinez, Special Events/Programs Director. "We want this to be a fun event for everyone as we raise awareness of arthritis."

The East Texas Arthritis Walk will be held on Saturday, May 1, at Rose Rudman Park in Tyler. Registration will be at 9:00 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10:00 a.m. Those interested in walking can sign up at the walk or online at www.easttexasarthritiswalk.org. Teams are encouraged to participate as well. The walk will start at the Copeland Road entrance to the park behind the Capital One bank building. The walk includes a family friendly; pet friendly, non-competitive, 5k or 1 mile walk and activities for the entire family.

The Arthritis Foundation is the only nationwide, not-for-profit health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis by leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases.