Did you know arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States? It’s also the reason many people seek treatment from the arthritis experts at Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic. Every December, KOC teams up with The Arthritis Foundation for the Jingle Bell Run to raise money for those diagnosed in East Tennessee.
The 2016 race medical honoree is KOC’s Dr. Christopher Sherrell, a joint replacement specialist.
“Arthritis is a costly, painful and debilitating disease that affects more than a million Tennesseans, stealing everyday joys and long-term dreams,” says Dr. Sherrell. “We at Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic want to do everything in our power to help our patients, and sponsoring the Jingle Bell Run is one way we can do that.”
While nearly half of people over 65 have arthritis, the disease can affect any age. About 6,000 children in Tennessee suffer from juvenile arthritis. Farragut High School graduate Kristen McAllister, a former competitive gymnast, was diagnosed when she was just 13.
“I lost part of my childhood,” says Kristen, now 22. “It’s hard because I know I am never going to get that back. I stopped going to school full time and started taking medications.”
She spent five months in the hospital last year and missed the 2015 Jingle Bell Run, though her family and friends raised more than $10,000 in her honor and she was named the National Jingle Bell Run Honoree. Kristen says the Arthritis Foundation has given her the support system to keep fighting.
“I believe that I will not only walk again, but I will run the Jingle Bell Run,” says Kristen.
Pain, fatigue, and inflammation from arthritis can limit everyday activities, from simple tasks like bathing and dressing to the ability to maintain employment or live independently. The Arthritis Foundation focuses on breaking down barriers to care and advancing scientific discoveries.
Last year, the Knoxville event had more than 1,000 runners and walkers and raised more than $100,000. This year, KOC is inviting the community to join their team, “Bad to the Bone,” to help raise even more money for this important cause. The race is Saturday, December 10. Festivities kick off at 8:30 a.m. in World’s Fair Park. There will be a timed 5K run, a 1K walk, a Santa chase for kids, plus photos with Santa.
To learn more, make a donation, or register for the Knoxville Jingle Bell Run, visit http://www.jbr.org/knoxville.