More than 1,200 people are expected to bring the holiday spirit to Middle Tennessee on Saturday, Dec. 5, when they “jingle all the way” to historic Downtown Franklin for the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk event.
This festive annual fundraiser aims to fight and cure arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. The holiday-themed event will start at 7:30 a.m. and host walkers and runners alike donning their most festive apparel – everything from bells on shoelaces to full holiday costumes. This 5K is sure to spread smiles, holiday cheer and a winning spirit.
Taking place in more than 100 cities across the country during the end-of-year holiday season, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis raises funds to support the Arthritis Foundation’s life-changing tools, resources, science and advocacy initiatives.
The Foundation strives to help people live better while searching for a cure to the number one cause of disability in the United States, which affects more than 50 million Americans, or roughly one in five adults. Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not an “old person’s” disease.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that can seriously affect joints, muscles, internal organs and the eyes of people of all ages. In fact, two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.
The Arthritis Foundation, Southeast Region’s Tennessee offices serve all 95 counties across the state and actively work to reduce the impact of arthritis on the lives of 1.2 million adults and nearly 6,000 children in our state.
One of those children, 16-year-old Emma Bryant, will serve as the youth honoree for this year’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk. Though she began showing symptoms at the age of two, Emma was not officially diagnosed with Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis until she was 11-years-old. Since the auto-immune disease had nine years to wreak havoc on Emma’s body, she now lives with the pain of arthritis in her fingers, toes, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, rib cage, neck and eyes. Emma stresses to friends and supporters the importance of early detection, especially for children. That’s one of the many reasons why she is serving as the 2015 honoree – to advocate for awareness and raise funds with the hope that one day there will be a cure for arthritis.
“Arthritis steals everyday joys and long-term dreams,” says Meagan Fulmer, chief development officer of the Arthritis Foundation. “It isolates and ostracizes. It diminishes quality of life and fills days with having to say ‘no’ to too many things. It doesn’t have to be this way. The Arthritis Foundation is in a unique place of authority and action, with the purpose of finding a cure and fighting for everyday victories. We are a Champion of Yes, and so are all Jingle Bell Run/Walk participants.”
The Jingle Bell Run/Walk is nationally sponsored by AbbVie, Massage Envy and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Regionally, Janssen has sponsored and the local, Gold Sponsors for 2015 include GM Spring Hill Manufacturing and Safe Step Tubs.
To learn more and register for the Franklin event, visit jbr.org/FranklinTN, or contact the Arthritis Foundation at 615-806-8540. To learn more about the fight to conquer arthritis and the Jingle Bell Run/Walk, visit www.arthritis.org/JBR.More Holiday Events