2,500 miles, nine states, four months, five pairs of running shoes – for the nearly 300,000 children living with juvenile arthritis.
With a college degree in hand, loving girlfriend at home and job prospects on the horizon, you’d think that arthritis would be the last thing on 21-year-old Patrick McGlade’s mind. A marathon runner and recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, McGlade was struck by images of a young friend sidelined by juvenile arthritis, one of the most common childhood diseases in the United States. Then he realized that his friend was just one of nearly 300,000 children living with juvenile arthritis.
Aching to raise awareness for this little known chronic health issue, McGlade set his mind and body to running coast to coast in four months, running an average of a marathon a day, meeting some of the many children he was running for along his way. McGlade began the ultimate cross-country run from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast on January 2 and finished his 2,500-mile trek April 23 on Tybee Island in Georgia. Patrick also aims to raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation to support research, life-improving programs and advocacy initiatives.
“I like the solitude of the long run, and I like pushing my body past what I once thought was its limit,” said McGlade. “I realized that there are too many young people who will never know what that’s like because of their arthritis. Whatever we can do for kids today will improve the outlook for future generations. Having them cheering me on from the sidelines is a great honor and reward.”
Read Patrick's blog.
|Kathryn, who has JA and will be the honoree at the Arthritis Walk in Savannah, gave a heartfelt speech at the wrap up event after Patrick finished his run to raise awareness and funds for arthritis.||Patrick, his parents (in the yellow t-shirts) and a group of Arthritis Foundation volunteers from Savannah, Georgia on the beach at Tybee Island after Patrick's Pacific Coast to Atlantic Coast run.|