CONTACT: JENNIFER CRONIN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9917; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Nov. 12, 1999
NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information on arthritis research
and treatments at the University of Iowa, you may arrange interviews with
members of the UI rheumatology staff by contacting Joan Felkner at 337-6194.
Because of staff members hectic clinical schedules, please call ahead
to arrange interview times.
Jingle Bell Walk/Run to benefit UI arthritis research,
IOWA CITY, Iowa Arthritis is one of the most pervasive,
yet silent health problems in the United States. But on Dec. 4, there will
be no silencing the resounding jingling bells at the North Liberty Recreation
Center as hundreds of people gather to participate in the annual Jingle Bell
Walk/Run event to benefit arthritis research and care at the University of
The walk/run, which the Iowa Chapter of the Arthritis
Foundation sponsors each year, begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. Interested
individuals may pick up registration brochures at many local businesses and
public libraries anytime or register at the event Saturday, Dec. 4.
Participants may opt for an indoor or outdoor walk or
an outdoor run. Each event is
5 kilometers (3.1 miles). There is an Elf Run for children
age 9 and younger. Organizers also have planned a number of family activities,
including a visit with Santa and clowns, and opportunities for door prizes
and awards. Each child participant also will receive a bag full of goodies.
Refreshments and musical entertainment by the North Liberty Brass Band will
There is no registration fee to participate; however,
organizers encourage individuals to collect pledges from family members and
friends to support the work of the Arthritis Foundation. Participants last
year raised more than $6,000, which helped support UI researchers and services
for UI Health Care patients. The goal for this year is $10,000. The Arthritis
Foundation has contributed more than $800,000 to UI arthritis research in
the last five years.
Iowa has the fourth highest rate of arthritis in the United
States with 17 percent of Iowans (485,000 children and adults) having at least
one of the more than 100 forms of the often-debilitating disease.
Nationwide, arthritis affects nearly 43 million Americans,
or one in every six people, making it the No. 1 crippling disease. The number
could climb to 60 million by the year 2020 unless researchers come up with
steps to limit the impact of the disease. Each year, arthritis costs the country
more than $64 billion in medical care and lost wages.
The Jingle Bell Walk/Run in North Liberty will be one
of about 200 around the country and one of five in Iowa that the Arthritis
Foundation will hold this year. The event is the largest fund-raising walk/run
event in the country.
Interested individuals should not worry about having to
complete the walk or run to participate. Organizers also encourage people
to sign up as teams. Everyone who participates will receive either jingle
bell gloves or shoelaces.
For more information, call Joan Felkner, chairwoman of
the Johnson County Arthritis Foundation Board at 337-6194, Dave Leslie at
338-4066 or Karen Olsen at 337-6753.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.