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National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

There are approximately 680,000 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the UK

Maidenhead, UK, September 2011 – To raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - a chronic, progressive and disabling autoimmune disease – and to raise vital funds for NRAS, the only patient led charity which focuses specifically on the disease, Team 10 NRAS will push CEO Ailsa Bosworth in her wheelchair around the Great North Run on 18th September 2011. The team pushing Ailsa for the 13.1 mile course includes rheumatology medical professionals Professor David Scott, NRAS Chief Medical Advisor and Dr Chris Deighton one of the charity’s medical advisors, who will be returning to the place of his medical studies to take part in the run. Also joining the team is Ailsa’s daughter, Anna.

The Great North Run forms part of a larger awareness and fundraising programme during 2011, as the charity celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Supporters, members and volunteers have been taking part in all manner of events, including the Team 10 sky dive, NRAS’ own 10K race at Hughenden Manor, West Wycombe and asking people to take part in Tea for 10, holding a tea party for 10 friends, neighbours or colleagues.. If you would like to sponsor Team 10 NRAS in the Great North Run, please visit their fundraising page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/GNRAilsa.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic, progressive and disabling autoimmune disease which can ultimately affect a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. There are approximately 680,000 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the UK. It is a painful condition, which can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and stiffness in the joints and extreme fatigue leading to irreversible damage of the cartilage and bone around the joints. Any joint may be affected but it is commonly the hands, feet and wrists. It is a systemic disease which means that internal organs such as the lungs, heart and eyes can also be affected.

Ailsa, CEO, NRAS - ‘I have suffered with severe RA since my late twenties. Shortly after my daughter Anna was born, the RA hit me with a vengeance and I have been fighting it ever since. My daughter grew up helping me with everyday tasks, often coping with a mother in extreme pain and seeing her go into hospital many times for surgery. I launched the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) in 2001 to help people living with RA and their families and whilst we have achieved a lot, there is so much more to do'.

About NRAS:

- The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) was launched in October 2001 and in a relatively short time has become established as the voice in the UK for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- NRAS provides a total one-stop-shop offering support, information and advocacy for all people in the UK with RA, their carers and families.
- NRAS’s national volunteer network provides peer to peer telephone support and groups across the UK for people with RA to encourage self management, empower and educate. There are currently 40 groups ranging from Plymouth in the South West to Greenock in Scotland.

For more information, please contact: Tracey Hancock, Director of Development, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society Tel: 0845 458 3969
www.nras.org.uk

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