Erasing the pain: 2016 Walk to Fight Arthritis raises $1.1 million to fund research, education and support programs

TORONTO, June 6, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nearly 30 communities across Canada took part in the 7th annual Walk to Fight Arthritis on Sunday, with thousands of people coming together in a show of support for the over 4.6 million Canadians who are living with the chronic pain, inflammation and mobility restrictions of arthritis.

This year, participants in The Arthritis Society's signature fundraiser raised $1.1 million, bringing the seven-year total to $9.1 million to support much-needed research, programs and services. National sponsors The Running Room and Xerox headed up a growing list of national and local organizations that have made eliminating arthritis a priority.

"Arthritis damages more than people's joints," said Janet Yale, president and CEO of The Arthritis Society, "it damages their ability to work and to maintain healthy relationships. It also damages families, communities and impacts the economy as a whole – the very fabric of our society. Today we saw Canadians stand up and say: 'Enough: we are going to erase the pain of arthritis once and for all.'"

"Today we walked for my seven-year-old son, Oscar, and for everyone who lives with arthritis in Canada," said Philippe Arab, part of Super Oscar & Team. The team raised an incredible $25,000+ for the Halifax Walk to Fight Arthritis. "Oscar was diagnosed before the age of two, so a life with arthritis is all he knows."

Oscar is one of some 24,000 Canadian children and teens living with the disease. Overall, one in six Canadians lives with the pain of arthritis today, and that number is expected to rise to one in five by 2036. But there is hope.

"We've already made tremendous progress with managing inflammatory forms of the disease," Yale said, "and the next ten years will see dramatic changes in the way we can prevent and repair damage due to osteoarthritis. But we can't get there without the public's support. That's what makes today's incredible outpouring so impactful."

"I truly believe we'll see a future without arthritis in Oscar's lifetime," Arab said. "Events like this Walk give me that hope and inspire us to keep working together as a family and a community to help those living with arthritis and eventually find a cure."

Contributions are still being gratefully accepted at www.walktofightarthritis.ca until the end of June. The Walk to Fight Arthritis returns on Sunday June 4, 2017.

IMAGE CAPTION: "A little rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of these junior fundraisers in Montreal on Sunday. The 7th annual Walk to Fight Arthritis, held yesterday in cities across the country, raised $1.1 million to help The Arthritis Society erase the pain of arthritis in Canada."

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 www.arthritis.ca.

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

Douglas Emerson
tel: 416.979.7228 x3348
cell: 647.706.0440
email: demerson@arthritis.ca

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

Source:The Arthritis Society