A Message From Jennifer Visscher On Our 2014 Walk

I’m not sure how to begin this but I’ve pondered it for too long so – here we go…
Dear Walk Participants,
I want to apologize to everyone for not being as involved in the walk this year as you all deserve me to be.
I could go into the reasons why – but I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say – AS has had its way with me lately and I’ve been struggling to do just about everything my life needs of me. So as it goes – everything has been affected and not accomplished to the level and standard that I wish I could insist on always. As many of you know, when AS gets the better of us there is nothing to do but hunker down, wait it out, keep going, FIGHT, and hope that a period of lessened disease activity is somewhere on the keep goinghorizon.
I think I can see it coming! I think I am moving back into remission – I hate to say this and jinx it because it has been a long haul and I want to be back to that place so badly. It is a place that I actually feel guilty of having been lucky enough to have spent years in. So many with AS never get remission and here I am wanting another one. I want it – we all desperately want it. “It” is a somewhat normal existence – something people without a chronic autoimmune disease cannot possible understand. I wish I could come up with just the right story or anecdote or post that explained it in a way for “aha” moments from our friends and family but there is no understanding unless you live it.
ThereIsHopeI just hope for empathy and benefit of the doubt. I want people to believe us when we say that living with a form of auto-immune arthritis is a constant challenge and a life of fighting. Fighting to show up. Fighting to stay optimistic. Fighting to get the best care we can. Fighting to carry out even simple daily tasks because the weight of ongoing pain and fatigue builds and builds and builds to a point where we live in air that is like jello – we have to strain against every movement at times. This can make the idea of movement and walking so daunting and overwhelming when we have been through a spell of flares and higher disease activity or regular life stresses are added in. All these things affect how the disease comes out in our bodies. We battle to find an equilibrium or balance point or for those who are especially fortunate – remission.  This is why I know what it means for people to join this walk. Your commitment and continued involvement through the ups and downs is an epic undertaking and I am continually amazed by your bravery and courage.
I want to thank each and every participant and supporter for your belief in me, in this walk, in what we are working to accomplish, and… in yourselves! Bravo to you for joining in and taking on this challenge. And please give a huge round of applause to all of our amazing team captains who this walk wouldn’t happen without – they are our heart and soul!
I hope you’ll join with me over the next three weeks to kick up the steps and enthusiasm and end year three of Walk Your A.S. Off on a great high!
My deepest heartfelt thanks,
Jenna Visscher
P.S.  I’m feeling better and stronger every day so look out world! For 2015 we are looking at various opportunities to put in place even more structures and methods of making our walk run smoothly & successfully. Thank you for hanging in there with us as we grow and develop.
P.P.S.  YES – I will post numbers this weekend!

8 thoughts on “A Message From Jennifer Visscher On Our 2014 Walk

  1. Kathy Miller says:

    From your original idea, a MASSIVE one has grown and is helping to raise awareness of our rotten condition. Many of the marathon runners on my little bit of the Orange Apples team have told me they’ve found theirselves talking to people about AS and the step campaign – how great is that? Next year will be even bigger and raise awareness in even more people. You started something absolutely fantastic Jenna. Never ever feel bad when the AS bites and you have to take it easy for awhile. Hope that remission is coming really soon for you 🙂 xxx

  2. leigh829 says:

    Just being able to raise awareness was my goal this year. I am constantly looking for ways to get the word out and this walk was, is and will be a fantastic undertaking. I pray your remission does come quickly and is long lasting! I feel the same right now – I began more weight and resistance training and while the meds knock me down, I don’t stay down. Hang in there!

  3. RichAHoward, MBA says:

    Dear Jenna, Glad to hear that you are feeling better and stronger every day. Let me know if there is anything I can help with. Huge fan. Thank you, Rich

  4. June Sexton says:

    My daughter Emma is the one with AS and I am loving being able to do something positive for her and the rest of the Orange and Blue team by doing as many steps as I possible can. I am enjoying telling people that I am walking to Mars for AS. How many steps does it take they ask. Lots I say. The exercise is doing me the world of good and I hope to keep it up after we have all got to Mars!!!!! Mt friends have been kind with their donations and their interest in what I am doing. I agree, how ever hard we try to know what it is like for Emma and other people to be in constant pain we can’t but we do try to help in any way we can. I hope you come to the end of the tunnel very soon and out the other end.
    Best Wishes and Thank you June

  5. Pamela says:

    Oh Jennifer we of all people know and understand what you are dealing with. If we can’t b understanding the who? You can’t change it by stressing over it, that’s for sure. Just take care of yourself. We know you’ll be back going strong when you can. Pam Jones

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