I want to thank each and every one of you for your time volunteering to be an E-Advocate with the Arthritis Foundation. Every time we answer an email request, our voices are heard in unison. Together, we make a difference in the amount of attention arthritis receives in Congress and in the population at large. Together, we can attain our goals.

I would like each and every one of you to participate and spread the word about our walk on May 18th. Some of you may not be able to physically walk, but we can still work together and fundraise for the walk. Any contribution you can make, monetary, your time, your presence or your team, we would be grateful.  Traverse City is a very northern locale and we do not have the population of lower  Michigan to draw upon. We are limited in this way. Therefore, we all need to make an extra special effort to reach our goals. I realize our area is still reeling from the recession and we have a lot of poverty in our area. I am not asking for riches, we are asking to make a difference for the children and young adults who suffer from this terrible autoimmune disease. The funds collected are important to the children who participate in the Arthritis Foundation camp.

The children go to a summer camp and have a camp experience like no other. They are able to commune with other children who have the disease. It has been shown that peer support is the most important thing in dealing with acceptance of a chronic disease. This opportunity is an important experience for these children. To be able to describe your feelings without judgment to another suffering can release the emotional baggage some may carry. Children will feel the same but lack the capacity to fully articulate their feelings. The camp experience can be so helpful yet costly to some families. I feel this is the one reason on the top of my list of why I am an Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation. I wanted to make a difference for the children.

I have attended the summit in Washington, DC, chaired our walk in a previous year and have been an Ambassador for many years now. I know I make a difference with every task we are asked to perform, every penny raised and every time I spread the goals of the Foundation via blog, email, Facebok or any social media.  I have walked the halls of Congress on behalf of the foundation.

I am asking for each of you to form a team, fundraise, volunteer or spread the word about our walk on May 18th. Every voice is important and we need you.  It cannot get any better than the walk along the bay in Traverse City. Share the beauty of our region. We will have refreshments and an advocacy booth at the walk . I will be at the booth for advocacy and hope to see each of you on the 18th. I can answer questions or sign you up for advocacy on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation. I will have lots of information at the booth for those who wish to contribute their free time for the Foundation.  It is a wonderful thing to know you made a difference with a few keystrokes but let’s step it up a notch and participate for this worthy cause.

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