By Laura Rosseisen, President/Chief Development Officer, Arthritis Foundation | Great West Region
Above: Laura Rosseisen and her son Tanner at the finish line of the 2014 Double Triple with friend Missy.
In early and mid-June, dozens of Arthritis Foundation volunteers organized the Triple Bypass rider goodie bags and filled them with the many items secured for the ride. Being a part of this process gave the volunteers a first-hand understanding of the size of the Triple Bypass and how many riders participate. Cycling is a favorite activity for many people who have arthritis as it provides excellent cardiovascular exercise without tremendous impact on joints that may be affected by arthritis.
As a veteran rider, I accepted the challenge and dared myself to ride the Double Triple Bypass in 2014. It was a challenging ride unlike any other I had done, and I was thrilled to celebrate at the finish with family and friends.
But each day, over 52 million Americans – including 300,000 children – face a challenge of a different kind: that of living with arthritis. As the largest and most trusted nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of people living with arthritis, The Arthritis Foundation is leading the way to conquer the nation’s number one cause of disability through increased education, outreach, research, advocacy and other vital programs and services.
Through partnerships with organizations like Team Evergreen, volunteers from the Arthritis Foundation are able to mobilize funds that help support special programs like the national Juvenile Arthritis Conference. The 30th anniversary of the JA Conference was held in Keystone, Colorado in July – coincidentally enough, one of the rest stops for the Triple Bypass. Keystone was the site of the first national conference in 1984, and this past summer children with arthritis, their families and friends, and volunteers from around the country made up the over 1,000 individuals who attended this remarkable event.
Tips on arthritis-friendly exercise, how to communicate with physicians, and daily habits that may minimize the impact of arthritis are only some of the resources and information available through the Arthritis Foundation. Additionally, the foundation mobilizes public and private funding to support research in arthritis causes and cures; seeks to influence policies and strategies that produce better outcomes for people with arthritis; and strives to create greater capacity to assist underserved populations that have a significant arthritis burden.
The Arthritis Foundation and the people we serve dare to believe a cure for arthritis will one day be discovered. With partners like Team Evergreen and the millions of people who support, we are confident we will fulfill our mission