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This article was published 12/5/2015 (779 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber defensive tackle and eight-time CFL All-Star Doug Brown knows that the injuries he sustained during his professional sports career will likely lead to arthritis in the future.
"For the time that I spent in this game, there are definitely consequences," Brown said.
That’s one of the reasons the 40-year-old Oak Bluff resident agreed to volunteer as an ambassador for this year’s Walk to Fight Arthritis.
The sixth annual walk is taking place on Sun., June 7 at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park near Locomotive Drive. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the one- or five-kilometre walk begins at 10 a.m.
Brown said a recent series of medical tests revealed that every one of his fingers had been broken at one time or another, and the doctor advised him that he’s facing sore hands in the future.
"Agreeing to be an ambassador for the Walk to Fight Arthritis is a decision that stems from both personal and professional levels. My mother was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and as a former athlete, arthritis is seemingly an inevitability that I will soon come face to face with. Additionally, in my daytime vocation as a medical equipment representative, I’ve seen hundreds of joints surgically replaced as a consequence of osteoarthritis," Brown stated in a news release.
Genny Sacco-Bak, special events co-ordinator for The Arthritis Society – Manitoba/Nunavut Division said last year about 700 people participated in the walk, raising over $82,000. The majority of the money is directed to funding research and running public education programs.
"This year, we’re hoping to beat that amount," she said.
While arthritis is commonly thought to be an older person’s disease, the reality is that many younger people are also affected. Sacco-Bak said 65 percent of Canadians, who have one of the many forms of arthritis, are of working age. The cost to Canada’s economy in terms of lost productivity and health care is estimated at $33 billion annually.
"Everyone would love to find a cure," she said.
Sacco-Bak said this year’s theme is Who Moves You, and she encourages participants to form teams with family members and friends.
Registration is $25 for adults or free with $100 in pledges, $10 for students aged 13 to 18 or free with $60 in pledges, and free for children 12 years and under.
For more information and to register see www.walktofightarthritis.ca