The Arthritis Society presents its second Sex and the City fundraising event, March 14 at the Park Theatre.
Co-hosted by Marlo Boux (who will play the role of Sex and the City’s Carrie), Terri Apostle (Miranda), Susie Parker (Charlotte) and Angie Lamirande (Samantha), the event features fashion, glamour and fun in spired by the New York City-set TV show, including a red carpet, a martin bar, cosmopolitans and appetizers from Monticchio Ristorante, cupcakes from Chocolate Zen Bakery martini bar, coffee from Café D’Amour, a fashion show, schwag bags and a screening of the first Sex and the City movie.
Genny Sacco-Bak, regional events and development coordinator for The Arthritis Society’s Manitoba/Nunavut division, says the event is geared towards women, because, of the 250,000 Manitobans who live with arthritis, two-thirds are women.
"Women want to go out and dress up and feel beautiful, but sometimes that’s not easy because either they’re dealing with an arthritis flare-up, which means their clothes don’t fit or they can’t wear certain shoes because their feet are swollen or they can’t do their hair because they can’t lift their arms," Sacco-Bak says.
"This is an opportunity to acknowledge and raise awareness about arthritis, especially for women, while also giving women the idea that even though you’re dealing with arthritis you can still feel beautiful."
Kristen Thiessen agrees. The 33 year old has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 12. The severity of her condition means she’s mostly confined to her home, so an event such as Sex and the City means a lot to her.
"I spend so much time at home in my pyjamas with my hair pulled back in a ponytail," says Thiessen, who hopes to attend the event, but is forced to live life day to day.
"I put my heels on and it hurts so bad, but it’s worth it to just feel like myself. I love dressing up and going out and wearing fancy shoes and all of that stuff. I can’t do it very often, but every now and then I suck up the pain and just enjoy myself."
The Arthritis Society provides information and resources for people who have arthritis, including information on the different kinds of arthritis (there are over 100 different strains) and information on nutrition and physical exercise’s role in treating the disease. Thiessen says she loves The Arthritis Society, especially for bringing awareness to the disease.
"This disease needs more understanding and acceptance," Thiessen says.
"I have a wheelchair parking pass that I use if I happen to run errands, which is rare now, but it helps me out when I do. When I get out of my car, I try very hard to walk normal. Nobody can tell anything is wrong and you wouldn’t believe the looks and stares and yells I get. People will yell at me, saying that I’m abusing the system.
"I want people to understand, just because I don’t look sick, just because it’s an invisible disease, doesn’t mean you can judge a book by its cover."
Tickets for Sex and the City are $50 (which includes a $25 tax receipt) at www.arthritis.ca/satc or at The Love Nest, Smitten, The Foxy Shoppe and Divine and Conquer. The event begins at 6 p.m.