Thursday, January 27, 2011

Walking For Arthritis & For Myself

Maybe it's that age 25 is approaching rapidly (February 12th, to be exact) or maybe it's because I'm reflecting back on the pain of last year, but lately I've been quite into the idea of my "Bucket List." You know... the list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Before last year, "Run or walk a half marathon to raise money for arthritis" was right near the top, but Spondylitis had different plans. As many of you know, the pain of last year prevented me from doing many things, like walking without holding on to walls or my loved ones. I prayed for these simple abilities back like I'd never prayed for anything.

Now that I'm getting back on my feet, I've decided to participate in a 5K Arthritis Walk to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. Founded in 1948, the Arthritis Foundation is the only nation not-for-profit that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. The walk will take place on Sunday, May 15th. While many people may not think twice about walking a 5K (3.1) miles, this will be a profound undertaking for me. After enduring the pain of last year, I'm trying to celebrate what my body CAN do (and for a great cause). I figure 3.1 miles is enough to push myself, but not to do damage to my body.

But I'm not doing it alone! I'll be joined by my brother Josh, my sister-in-law Erica, my boyfriend John, several of my best friends, and my team - the "NYC Sick Chick Club." I couldn't write this post without sharing a little exchange John and I had online the other day (pretty sure I have the best guy around)...

Me:  Thank you for signing up for the walk! 
John:  I'm very happy I have a way to show my support
Me: It means so much that you'll be by my side... 
I just hope I can make it!
John: you will! I will carry you if i have to!
I know money is tighter for most of us lately, so I find it difficult asking for donations. PLEASE don't feel obligated to donate - even passing this post on to your own friends and family would be fantastic! However, if you can spare some money (even a dollar), it will help fund arthritis research, education, and community programs. To read more about the Arthritis Foundation, please click here. Personally, I know that before I decide to donate to an organization, I like to check it out of Charity Navigator. Therefore, I think it's only fair to provide you with the Arthritis Foundation's evaluation. If you aren't happy with this evaluation (2 out of 4 stars), please consider directing your donation to the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) instead. SAA is the organization that raises money for my specific disease. Here is Charity Navigator's evaluation of SAA (4 out of 4 stars). 

If you've decided on donating to the Arthritis Foundation, please click here to reach my personal fundraising page for the Arthritis Walk. Please know that I'm extremely grateful for ANY support you can show (even just an encouraging post!). THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!


  1. Woohooo!!!! Go Maya! ( : We are right there with you in spirit.


  2. Thanks soooo much Elin!!! Thanks for your constant support, I'll be walking for all of you <3

  3. beautiful girl! only half the link to your personal donations page proud of you!

  4. You go girl! I will definitely donate - what are you doing to prepare?

    And... you deserve a wonderful guy like John :)


  5. Ahhh Jenny, you're right! No wonder people were saying they had trouble donating. Thanks so much for catching that and thank you even more for being proud ;)

    Jenna: Thank you so much for your constant support!!! I'm just preparing slowly, but surely by walking a little more than I'd ordinarily walk when I'm feeling up to it. I'm still doing a little research to see how others may have prepared for a 5K. xoxo

  6. So many amazing people in my life and so many of them are women... I love that you are you and doing what you do, Maya. Keep it up, lady!

  7. Jorge: When I saw the comment in my e-mail box, I was just hoping it was from THIS Jorge :)The support and pride I feel coming from you and Liza (two people I've always admired) means the world to me and helps keep me motivated.