2009 Arthritis Walk dates set

Published 8:17 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

The date for the 2009 Chilton County Arthritis Walk has been set for Saturday, Oct. 3 in front of Chilton Medical Center at 9 a.m.

The event’s planning committee met Thursday to set important fundraising dates for the Walk, a national effort that has seen much local support in recent years.

“Our team participation and the number of individuals walking has really increased,” said Kristin Whitehurst, president of the Arthritis Foundation’s Alabama Chapter, at Thursday’s meeting.

Last year, the Walk raised about $22,000 locally toward research and support for arthritis patients of all ages. This year’s goal is set for $24,000.

The funding also goes toward educating the public about the hundreds of different forms of arthritis and rheumatic diseases, which affect more than 46 million people nationwide.

Whitehurst said a certain percentage of the funding goes to research on the state level. In a joint effort with Children’s Hospital in 2007, for example, the Alabama Chapter helped bring two pediatric rheumatologists to the state. Both work in the Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic of Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

“I’m so excited to say that in October a third doctor is coming,” Whitehurst said, adding there is a six-month backlog to see a doctor at the clinic.

Local fundraising will kick off Friday, Aug. 14 at a special event scheduled for noon at a location to be announced.

“I just appreciate everybody’s participation,” event chairperson Vanessa McKinney said. “We’ve had a great turnout in the past few years, and we hope everyone will continue to support the cause.”

For more information about volunteering for the Arthritis Walk, or if you would like to organize a team, contact McKinney at 280-3346.