National Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees
2014 National Youth Honoree
Claire Brennan, Age 12
Claire Brennan is a skier, bike rider and excellent swimmer. She’s an active 12-year-old who lives with and struggles with the pain of arthritis. Despite her active lifestyle, she sometimes has to sit out and watch her friends and classmates play without her.
Claire, who lives in Denver, was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when she was 2 years old, and after a brief remission, she was back to a regular regiment of biologics—getting shots about every week.
Though life with arthritis can be a struggle, Claire finds confidence in herself as a swimmer, keeping up with and usually out-swimming her peers. She is active in Arthritis Foundation events:, She attends her local juvenile arthritis camp, is a guest writer on the Kids Get Arthritis Too website, and raises funds for both Jingle Bell Run/Walk and Walk to Cure Arthritis. Claire fundraises for a cure and hopes that one day soon she’ll be arthritis-free!
2014 National Adult Honoree
Mayro Kanning is a passionate and engaged volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation. She has served as a local leader in Cincinnati for more than 20 years, and has been a key driver of the Walk to Cure Arthritis team since 2003. Mayro has never let her arthritis get her down, despite more than 23 surgeries since her diagnosis 34 years ago.
Life presents special challenges for Mayro, and she has to approach everyday tasks with a different perspective. Shopping for work clothes doesn’t mean buying the latest trendy shoes or dresses with zippers down the back – for her, it’s the great neckline of a pullover sweater or a blouse that’s loose enough to wear without undoing the buttons.
Mayro often shares her struggles with arthritis, which motivates her coworkers at The Kroger Company. While there are days she would rather stay home because her arthritis causes her so much physical pain, she feels fortunate because she has health insurance, medical leave benefits and a strong support system at work and at home.
Mayro feels she is a picture of how far research has come to “fix” the damage arthritis causes: she’s a little bit bent, but her spirit is not broken.