Woman with arthritis to run half marathon

Rebecca Blasdel Moirao is a wife, step-mom, business owner, daughter and sister, as she says on her website. She grew up in Rockford but now lives in Folsom, Calif. She is now training to run the Kona 1/2 Marathon in June 2013.

At age 22, Moirao began to have pain and swelling in some of her joints, starting with her toes and fingers, then moving to her feet and ankles. That was when she started walking with a limp. Eventually, she was unable to work because she couldn’t walk or wear shoes. The pain kept her from doing everyday tasks like washing her hair or going grocery shopping (the weight of even a can of tuna was too much to carry).

Her employer was understanding, but eventually she had to find a different job, one where she could sit. This was how she got into sales. At 23 years old and after many doctor visits, she finally got her diagnosis: Rheumatoid arthritis. “By this point,” she says, “I had begun doing research, and I knew there wasn’t a cure. I thought I was going to have to live with all of this pain for the rest of my life.”

Now, 13 years later, Moirao is doing better than she ever expected. With diet, exercise and meds, she has the disease under control, no longer walks with a limp and can even wear heels (against doctor’s advice). The pain is greatly lessened. She says, “I am running the Kona 1/2 Marathon on June 23, 2013, because I CAN!”

Wanting to share her good news, she adds: “There are about 120 different kinds of arthritis. It’s the No. 1 cause of disability in the workplace. Raising awareness is also important to me. I want people to know that this isn’t an old person’s disease. Kids get arthritis, too! Thanks in part to the Arthritis Foundation, I have access to meds that allow me to live a normal life. Please support me by donating to fund research, education and community programs.”

Her older sister, Kimberly Blasdel, is very proud of her sister and encourages you to check out Rebecca’s website at www.RunBeckyrun.com. Becky’s goal is to raise $4,300 for the Arthritis Foundation. So far, she has raised $1,310 — 30 percent of her goal. She has been featured in a local newspaper, The Folsom Telegraph, and will appear on the local FOX-TV morning news program Nov. 6. Help Becky reach her goal by donating online or calling (916) 293-2372.

From the Oct. 17-23, 2012, issue

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