Ken Boshcoff understands pain.
Having undergone several knee surgeries in the past, with another scheduled for June, the at-large councillor nonetheless was a little surprised at just how debilitating arthritis can be. Boshcoff on Wednesday donned a special movement-restricting suit, helping launch this year’s Walk to Fight Arthritis, scheduled for June 10 at Boulevard Lake.
Though he could barely move his neck, wrist and legs, it was worth it to demonstrate just how much of a hold the life-changing disease can have on someone’s life, while encouraging people to raise a little money for research in the process.
“After a career that’s resulted in some sports mishaps and knee problems and things with other body parts – wrists and ribs and other things – you come to realize the importance of an organization like the Arthritis Society,” Boshcoff said.
“So wearing this suit certainly emphasizes that. There aren’t very many people who want to be wearing it or feeling what the restraints are on your body.”
Walk official Gordie Garrioch, who has helped design the routes around Boulevard Lake, the event’s first staging at the new location, said participants will have three distance choices this year, a one kilometre walk, a five-kilometre walk and for those who want to take part, but can’t handle the longer stretch, a 100-metre event.
They’re also encouraging team entrants, with Garrioch adding there are prizes available at different pledge collection levels.
“We want everyone to participate,” she said. “The funds raised will be used for physiotherapy programs at the Arthritis Society office and also education. And then some of the funds will also be used for research, which is much needed.
“We have many, many people suffering from arthritis in Thunder Bay, and a large part of its population, of course, is juveniles.”
Registration for the event will take place on June 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., the time the walk is scheduled to start.
Participants can also pre-register online at walktofightarthritis.ca or by phoning 345-9535, ext. 5.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. We have parks and recreation going to do face-painting for the kids during the event … There’s going to be a fire truck here. We have the Thunder Bay firefighters joining us and that’s always lots of fun. And we have food. You have to have food for an event.”
Last year’s Walk to Fight Arthritis was held along the Neebing River, but logistics forced organizers to seek a location with more parking and space.
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