Letters to the Editor

Enumclaw team pedaling to help discover a cure

AMBER-BROOKE – sounds like a microbrew, doesn’t it? It would be appropriate for a bicycle team to be sponsored and named after a cold brew, but such is not the case.

AMBER-BROOKE is named in honor of a couple of young ladies who suffer from arthritis on a daily basis. As I have mentioned many times, kids get arthritis, too!

Amber is a 23-year-old woman who lives near Enumclaw. Recently, Amber received a medical discharge from the United States Marine Corps due to her serious arthritis flare ups – she was diagnosed with lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. This results in symptoms like inflammation, swelling and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart and lungs.

Brooke is a 14-year-old girl – my granddaughter – who lives near Billings, Mont. Brooklynn was 4 years old when diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that results in a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible (synovial) joints. Soon after, Brooke was diagnosed with uveitis. Infections, injury and autoimmune disorders may be associated with the development of uveitis, though the exact cause is often unknown. Brooklynn lost all sight in one eye and had to have it removed before her sixth birthday.

AMBER-BROOKE is a bicycle team raising funds and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation. We will be doing this on the Plateau near Enumclaw, we will be doing this in Montana and, in September, we will be participating in the Peoples Coast Arthritis Bike Classic, a six-day, 365-mile bicycle ride down the Oregon Coast from Astoria to Brookings.

Team AMBER-BROOKE is looking for bicyclists willing to accept the challenges of our team for a worthwhile cause. Have you considered a charity bike ride? Training rides, locally, will begin in mid-March near Enumclaw, Seattle and the Snohomish areas.

Not quite your cup of tea? Or in this case, not quite your stein of beer? You can still help with research to find a cure for arthritis by making a monetary donation at http://PeoplesCoastArthritisBikeClassic.kintera.org/alknopik or by printing out a donation form on the link provided on my personal donation page.

Team AMBER-BROOKE, the Arthritis Foundation, and anyone who suffers from the horrendous affects of arthritis appreciate your donation.

Thank you,

Al Knopik, team captain

Buckley

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