Thousands of Canadians getting ready to change lives at June 5 Walk to Fight Arthritis

TORONTO, June 2, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This Sunday June 5 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 an estimated $33 billion a year in health care and lost productivity.

Now in its seventh year, the Walk to Fight Arthritis brings families, friends and organizations together in over 30 communities across the country. It builds a community of support for the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis, and serves to elevate public awareness of the challenges of living with this devastating disease.

"The power to move is something we too often take for granted," says Janet Yale, president and CEO of The Arthritis Society. "That's why the outpouring of support for this event is so inspiring. The Walk gives Canadians an opportunity to move – and to be moved. With every step, we can each help erase the pain and create a future free from the shackles of arthritis."

Quebec's Naomi Ban was a sports enthusiast and taekwondo/martial arts athlete when she received her diagnosis. "At a crossroad like this, you have to choose whether you fight or throw in the towel," she explains. Like Naomi, people participating in the Walk are choosing to fight – standing up for their right to live and move pain-free.

The opportunity to support others is what motivates Tequila Mockingbird, spokesmodel for The Society's BC and Yukon Division. "To the average person, a 1km or 5km walk might not seem like a big deal at all," she says. "But to someone with arthritis, it might as well be hundreds of kilometres over shards of glass. I am walking, because many Canadians are unable to."

This year, the Walk to Fight Arthritis is supported by national champions Xerox and The Running Room, and by a growing list of regional sponsors including Ontario community champion Alterna Savings. "We're proud to be part of this incredible event," says Brian Lawson, Alterna Savings' region head of member experience for the National Capital Region. "Everyone knows someone impacted by this disease. By supporting the Walk, we know that we're helping make life better for people and communities here in Ontario and across the country."

To date, community support has helped the Walk to Fight Arthritis raise over $8 million to support The Arthritis Society's research and education initiatives.

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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 over $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

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Douglas Emerson
tel: 416-979-7228 x3348
cell: 647-706-0440

CONTACT: Douglas Emerson tel: 416-979-7228 x3348 cell: 647-706-0440 email:

Source:The Arthritis Society