Santa Barbara residents will soon be able to raise money for arthritis research by doing something as simple as walking their dogs.
Signups are currently underway for the National Arthritis Foundation’s fourth annual Arthritis Walk, a charity event that is open to everyone, including canines. Participants may enter the event solo or with a team, raising money for the foundation through sponsored donations, and walkers can choose among a 1K, 3K or 5K course. The walk is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 22 at the Santa Barbara City College West Campus, and will also feature live music, free food for participants, health information and a chance for attendees to have their bone density scanned.
Anyone interested in entering the walk can register as an individual, start a team, or join a team online at the arthritis foundation’s website, www.arthritis.org, or call (805) 892-5556 for registration information.
Proceeds from the event, which will be held rain or shine, will go to fund organizations researching a cure for arthritis, in addition to groups that provide exercise programs or health services for arthritis sufferers.
Ann Moore, executive director for the Santa Barbara County branch of the National Arthritis Foundation, said the Arthritis Walk serves as an opportunity to inform people about the prevalence of arthritis across the nation.
“One out of three people has arthritis, and more than 300,000 children are affected, as well,” Moore said. “Many people don’t know this, and this is what’s important.”
According to the foundation’s website, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting nearly 66 million Americans. However, event chair Mark Livanec said many people are not aware that the disease also affects dogs.
“We expect about 20 dogs to participate this year with their handlers, as well,” Livanec said. “Dogs get arthritis, too, and there is medication to help them.”
Livanec said he expects around 300 human participants to attend the event.
One of those planning to attend the walk is Jeane Adamson, a Ph.D. student at UCSB who said she suffers from Sj