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Canadians getting ready to change lives at Walk to Fight Arthritis

TORONTO, June 2, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This Sunday June 7th will see thousands of people from across Canada put their lives – and bodies – in motion to help erase the pain of arthritis, a leading cause of disability, and one that costs the economy $33 billion a year in health care and lost productivity.

Now in its sixth year, the Walk to Fight Arthritis brings families, friends and organizations together in over 25 cities from coast to coast. It builds a community of support for Canadians with arthritis, and serves to elevate public awareness of the challenges of this devastating disease.

"It's time to speak openly about the pain of arthritis," says Janet Yale, president and CEO of the Arthritis Society. "People with arthritis have suffered in silence for too long. Coming together on a single day in communities across the country allows us to show our support for those living with the disease and to demonstrate the importance of mobility to one's quality of life. It also allows us to raise much-needed funds to ensure a pain-free future."

"Arthritis is different for everyone," says Charlottetown's Christy Dunn, 29. The mother of two lives with ankylosing spondylitis (one of over 100 different forms of arthritis), and is returning this Sunday for her second Walk. "My experience is very different from people in their sixties. That's why the Walk is so important – it allows us to connect with people of all ages living with arthritis in a positive and empowering way."

"We'll be there with our team and our dogs," says Toronto's Ed Kowal about the family's Walk plans. Ed's daughter Aida Kelf-Kowal, 6, lives with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. "When Aida was first diagnosed we felt powerless, but through The Arthritis Society we met other families who are facing these challenges, and we've learned that you can take control of the disease so it doesn't control you."

To date, community support has helped the Walk to Fight Arthritis raise over $6.8 million to support The Arthritis Society's research and education initiatives.

For more information, visit www.walktofightarthritis.ca.

ABOUT THE ARTHRITIS SOCIETY

The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada's principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing nearly $190 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada's Standards Program. For more information about The Arthritis Society and to make a donation, visit www.arthritis.ca.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Douglas Emerson
tel: 416-979-3348 x3349
cell: 647-706-0440
email: demerson@arthritis.ca

CONTACT: Douglas Emerson tel: 416-979-3348 x3349 cell: 647-706-0440 email: demerson@arthritis.caSource:The Arthritis Society