As a member of that exclusive club – the Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) survivors – I wish for two things (as do most of you).
1. A cure – but lets face it, it’s not likely to happen any day in the near future.
2. Awareness – despite the fact that 1 in 200 people in the UK have AS, no one knows what it is!!
The first one I can’t do much about, aside from participation in research when I can. The second however, we all can do.
Awareness is something we all try and do, whether we realise we are doing it or not. We can passively make people aware, just through our existence with AS. I have touched on that before…
Actively raising awareness is another thing. It’s not for everyone, some people can, some can’t, and some don’t know how. And that’s fine which ever group you fall into. Luckily for you lot, I believe I fall in the ‘can do’ group (whether I can or not is still to be proven). This blog is one way I try to help raise awareness. Another is by working when I can with NASS.
This Friday however, I will be doing something new and exciting. I will be participating in Walk Your AS Off. This is a global awareness campaign for AS.
It is a concept that has already become phenomenally popular in just it’s second year. The aim of WALK your AS off is simple:
Walk Your A.S. Off is a community based campaign & event held each year from March 1st until World A.S. Day – May 4th. We walk to raise awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.) and the family of related diseases. In the two months of walking for our health, we also walk to support and raise funds for the organizations who support us. We track our collective steps and set large goals – this year we are shooting for the moon! Our walk brings people together from all over the globe, showing that a small group of people can take great strides to change the world.
I have joined a team captained by my friend Helgi Olafson called Endurance for AS. Helgi is doing fantastic work in helping raise awareness, along with the awesome work he does with the foundation he set up – The Helgi Olafson Foundation. I would strongly suggest you check it out, along with signing his petition to fund further research with grant money from the US government. All quality research – regardless of the country of origin – will ultimately benefit help us all.
There are a total of 24 teams so far this year in Walk Your AS Off. Do you think you can help us raise awareness by walking for AS? Why not join a team? You can join Endurance for AS by emailing me. You could alternatively email Jenna for help with joining another existing team. Or, if your lucky enough to have lots of friends, why not start your own team?
This is going to be a lot of fun!
Sign up to my email subscription or RSS feed to keep up-to-date with my weekly progress with Walk Your AS Off. Alternatively your could ‘Like’ the EndlessTrax Facebook page for updates about the campaign.
On your marks, get set, Walk!!