AUBURN, Mass. – In preparation for the Central Massachusetts Arthritis Walk in September, the Arthritis Foundation of New England will host a free kickoff party Sunday at AMF Auburn Lanes.
Guests can enjoy free food and bowling from 1 to 3 p.m. July 15 at 101 Southbridge St.
“On Sunday, we’re trying to raise support and get people to join teams for the Arthritis Walk in September,” said Jeff King, ambassador for the Worcester Arthritis Walk. “It’s a really great cause, and we hope a lot of people can come out to support it.”
King, of Shrewsbury, was diagnosed with polyarthritis in May 2009 after experiencing pain in his knees for many years. At the time, he was finishing his freshman year of high school.
“It was a very difficult time, especially having to tell friends I couldn’t do anything because I was so sore and sick,” he said.
King had treatments throughout high school, but he now feels great and “can do just about anything.” He participated in the Arthritis Foundation's Wiffle Ball tournament a few weeks ago.
Now King is excited to be the walk’s ambassador.
“I feel comfortable telling my story, and I think I can help inspire others to get through the tough times,” King said. “I’m back to a normal life now, and others can get there, too.”
King, a recent graduate of Shrewsbury High School, will attend the University of New Hampshire in the fall. He plans to major in biomedical laboratory sciences in hopes of becoming a researcher to cure diseases such as his own.
The Arthritis Walk will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Bancroft School in Worcester. The event will begin with a 1- to 3-mile walk. Participants are invited to join in a celebration with entertainment and food afterward. The event will also include a health fair, exhibit booths and children’s activities.
To get involved in the walk, call Margaret Farmer of the Arthritis Foundation of New England at 617-219-8228 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arthritis Foundation is committed to raising awareness and reducing the impact of arthritis, which strikes one in every five adults and 300,000 children and is the nation’s leading cause of disability. To learn more, visit www.arthritis.org.