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5 year old Peters Creek Girl named Honoree of 2011 Anchorage Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

Anchorage, AK: Five year old Alexandra Lubeck, who has juvenile arthritis, has been selected as the 2011 Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation Alaska Office’s largest annual event, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. This event is Saturday, December 3rd in downtown Anchorage. Says, Alexandra, “I am doing the Jingle Bell Run/Walk because I want to help other girls and boys like me get better too.”

To recognize the millions of children and adults that suffer from arthritis, Alexandra Lubeck will be celebrated at this 4th annual event by the Arthritis Foundation. Alexandra, who just started kindergarten, was diagnosed with Juvenile Pauciarticular Arthritis at age 2, after her parents noticed her having trouble walking or standing without assistance. Because there are no Pediatric Rheumatologists in Alaska, since being diagnosed, Alexandra and her parents must fly to the Seattle Children’s Hospital every three months for treatment.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Alexandra. She has taught us so much as to how to be loving, patient and accepting. Too many children suffer from this debilitating disease like Alexandra. Finding support within our own family and friends, and community events like the Jingle Bell Run/Walk gives us hope and strength to raise our daughter to live not in sadness but in joy as we persevere though this challenging time.” state Alexandra’s parents, Brian and Monica Lubeck.

The Arthritis Foundation has been dedicated to providing support, programs, educational tools and advocacy for people, parents and children affected by arthritis since 1948. The Alaska Office opened in 2009, and serves the entire state with one employee in an office in Anchorage. The mission of the Arthritis Foundation is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control, and cure of arthritis and related diseases. There are over 116,000 Alaskans with doctor diagnosed arthritis, and an estimated 800 children in Alaska have juvenile arthritis.

Now in its 4th year, the Anchorage Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis features a 5K run, 5K walk, and 1K Children’s Run with the Elves. This is an all-ages fun holiday event; strollers and dogs are welcome. The course is on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in downtown Anchorage. 700 participants are expected this year, many wearing festive holiday-themed costumes, and all wearing 2 jingle bells tied to their shoelaces, so everyone will “Jingle All The Way” while raising awareness and needed funds for the Arthritis Foundation’s Alaska office. The 2011 goal is to raise $52,800.

Information about the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis can be found at www.AnchorageJingleBellRun.com. Registration, volunteer sign-up, and personal donations can also be done at this website. Online registration closes November 30, and after that the registration fees increase $5 and must be done in person. Contact the Arthritis Foundation Alaska Branch Manager, Laura Goss, with your questions: 907-277-2784 or Lgoss@arthritis.org .

Alexandra Lubeck and her parents, Monica and Brian, are available for personal interview. They can be reached at (907) 688-2914 or (907) 301-9214.

For more information about the Arthritis Foundation and our programs and services in Alaska, contact Laura Goss, Alaska Branch Manager, at (907) 277-2784, toll-free (866) 997-2784, or lgoss@arthritis.org. Or visit www.arthritis.org.

The Alaska Branch office is located at 615 E. 82nd Ave., Ste. 104, Anchorage, 99518.

The local phone is 277-2784 and the statewide toll-free number is (866) 997-2784.

Arthritis Answers Helpline (800) 542-0295 serving Alaska, Washington, and Oregon.

Arthritis is the #1 cause of disability in the United States. www.arthritis.org

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