Wendel Clark Joins Thousands of Canadians in Fight Against Arthritis

- Register now for fundraising events taking place across the country on Sunday, May 30 -

TORONTO, May 12 /CNW/ - Affecting more than four million Canadians, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Canada and can cause debilitating pain for those who suffer from this incurable disease.(1) To help raise awareness and funds for a cure, The Arthritis Society is launching the Walk to Fight Arthritis, presented by the makers of TYLENOL(R)- a fundraising event taking place in locations across Canada this month.

"Arthritis doesn't just affect older people - in fact, nearly three of every five people with arthritis are under the age of 65," says Steven McNair, President and CEO, The Arthritis Society. "Arthritis is among the top three most common chronic diseases in Canada - and the Walk to Fight Arthritis aims to change the face of the disease and put us one step closer to finding a cure."

Arthritis is a cause that's close to Canadian hockey legend, Wendel Clark; his mother-in-law, along with many friends and former hockey mates suffer from the disease. Wendel is one of the many participants who will walk in Toronto on May 30 and join others by proudly wearing a symbolic Blue Badge to show his connection to the cause and the fight against arthritis.

"I'm thankful that I personally haven't developed arthritis, but I know it can happen - and I see how deeply it affects the people I care about every day," said Wendel Clark. "It's so important to raise awareness for this debilitating disease. By registering for a local walk and raising pledges, Canadians do just that, while helping to fund leading-edge research and essential programs too."

In addition to raising funds through pledging, Canadians are encouraged to visit www.WalktoFightArthritis.ca to share their personal story of living with arthritis. For every approved story submitted, the makers of TYLENOL(R) will donate $5* towards the Walk to Fight Arthritis.

Changing the Face of Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common chronic diseases in Canada consisting of more than 100 different conditions and contrary to popular belief, it is not an old person's disease and can start at any age.

There are also many forms of arthritis. From juvenile arthritis, to osteoarthritis, to rheumatoid arthritis, most Canadians have been touched by this disease, whether they're impacted by the pain and disability of arthritis themselves or are supporting a friend, family member, or co-worker through the daily restrictions caused by this disease.

The good news is that there are things you can do to manage some types of arthritis, like osteoarthritis (OA) for example, which is the most common kind of arthritis affecting one-in-ten Canadians.(2)

"Moderate physical activity, such as walking, is one of the leading ways to help reduce the pain and disability caused by some forms of arthritis, and the Walk to Fight Arthritis celebrates this," says McNair. "Not only are we walking to join the fight against arthritis, we're actively demonstrating ways to help manage the disease too."

In addition to moderate physical activity, medication can also play can play a role in managing the disease. Over the counter medications, like acetaminophen or prescription medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and using arthritis friendly products like TYLENOL(R) Arthritis Pain with its easy to open cap are also helpful. A healthcare provider can provide more information on the management of arthritis and should be consulted before starting a treatment plan.

Register today!

There is still time to register to participate and show support for the Walk to Fight Arthritis. There are several events taking place across the country on Sunday, May 30. All locations will offer 1km and 5km route options, allowing each participant to choose the distance that is right for them.

While there is no cost to register, participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges. All participants who raise $100 or more will receive an official Walk to Fight Arthritis t-shirt on event day.

Participating locations include:

    
    -  Vancouver, BC     -  Kitchener, ON       -  Toronto, ON

    -  Calgary, AB       -  Hamilton, ON        -  Windsor, ON

    -  Winnipeg, MB      -  London, ON          -  Montreal, QC

    -  Moose Jaw, SK     -  Ottawa, ON*       -  Halifax, NS

    -  Etobicoke, ON     -  Sudbury, ON         -  St. John's, NL

    -  Kingston, ON      -  Thunder Bay, ON

    * Ottawa event takes place on Sunday, May 16
    

Regardless of where they live, all Canadians can create their own Virtual Walk if their city or town is not listed. Interested participants can gather a group of family, friends or co-workers, set their own route and register online for the virtual walk. Not only can the group walk on their own schedule, but everyone will still be eligible for the great incentive prizes.

Walk participants - each with their own connection to arthritis - will also receive a Blue Badge to wear during the events. The Blue Badge will symbolize that there are multiple forms of arthritis and that it impacts Canadians of all ages and not just the elderly.

For more information and complete registration details, visit www.WalktoFightArthritis.ca.

For more information on managing arthritis pain, visit www.livingwell.ca or www.arthritis.ca.

About The Arthritis Society

The Arthritis Society is Canada's principal health charity which empowers over four million Canadians with arthritis to live their lives to the fullest by combating the daily limitations of arthritis. In the last 60 years, The Society has invested more than $170 million towards arthritis research to develop better treatments and ultimately find a cure. For more information, visit www.arthritis.ca.

About McNeil Consumer Healthcare

McNeil Consumer Healthcare markets a broad range of well-known and trusted over-the-counter (OTC) products around the globe. McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., markets products in the adult and pediatric pain relief, allergy, gastro-intestinal and nicotine-replacement categories under the brand names TYLENOL(R), MOTRIN(R), BENYLIN(R), BENADRYL(R), REACTINE(R), PEPCID(R), IMODIUM(R), ROLAIDS(R), NICORETTE(R) and NICODERM(R).

    
    References :

    ------------------------------
    (1) The Arthritis Society.

    (2) The Arthritis Society.

    *Up to a maximum contribution of $20,000 CDN.
    

SOURCE MCNEIL CONSUMER HEALTHCARE

For further information: For further information: Laura Espinoza, Rohini Mukherji, Edelman, T: (416) 979-1120, ext. 245, 264, E: laura.espinoza@edelman.com, rohini.mukherji@edelman.com; Tina Peyregatt, Johnson & Johnson Inc., T: (905) 968-2028, E: tpeyrega@its.jnj.com; Sinead Canavan, The Arthritis Society, T: (416) 979-7228, ext. 348, E: scanavan@arthritis.ca

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