Jackie Gingrich Cushman

In addition to the Rose Bowl, Pasadena is the home of California Institute of Technology. In a bit of serendipity, we had the opportunity to listen to Dr. David Baltimore, Nobel laureate, lecture on recent research in the area of preventing HIV. Having proved that they can successfully deliver the antibodies to mice, the next step is clinical trials. Kathy was particularly interested in this research. HIV attacks the immune system; rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. While the correlation might not be exact, medical research in one area often leads to breakthroughs in others.

Imagine a world without arthritis. That's Kathy's goal.

For Kathy, arthritis is unacceptable. No one should ignore the serious pain, disability and cost of this chronic illness. She is raising money to prevent, control and cure arthritis.

What I did I do for love? I ran (well, partially walked) a marathon in blazing hot sun, over streets with no shade but plenty of asphalt, in weather that felt like 98 degrees, enduring three out-and-backs (when you could see the running in front of you as you ran out the route, only to have to turn back and return), and travelled up hills and more hills. Finish, I did.

As we sat next to each other at the end of the marathon, Kathy mentioned that she had something in her shoe that was bugging her foot. She took off her shoe and found a hair band. She has walked the marathon with a hair band in her shoe, which of course led to a foot full of blisters.

All I could think of was WOW -- she certainly has an incredibly high pain tolerance. That's what living with arthritis has done for Kathy. She simply ignores the pain and continues to walk on.

Someone you love either has or will suffer from arthritis. What will you do for them?

Help spread the word about the impact of arthritis, and join with us to get to a cure. It can be done.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.