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We find ourselves once again in what we loving refer to as “Walk Season” as we gear up for another Walk to Cure Arthritis with the Arthritis Foundation.  This year the Walk will take place on May 7th and we will once again be at John Ball Park.  Mackenzie is already super excited about the event and can’t wait to see everyone in their orange shirts.

Since last year’s Walk, Mackenzie has experienced a lot of wonderful things:
* She went on vacation to Niagara Falls and Boston, MA
* She had a check up in June that showed no active signs of arthritis
* She started Kindergarten and LOVES it!
* She started her third year in gymnastics – this year she started in level A1
* She had a check up in September that again showed no active signs of arthritis and so we were instructed to begin backing down her medication. She started receiving her 50mg injections of Enbrel every other week instead of every week.
* She went on a long weekend vacation to Mackinac Island (her second favorite vacation spot…comes in right behind visiting Mickey’s House [aka Disney World])
* She once again was invited to participate in the Tribute to Excellence Dinner for the Arthritis Foundation as a greeter. She had a ball!
* She had a very wonderful holiday season (Halloween had her dressed up like a Minion, Thanksgiving was filled with lots of yummy turkey, and at Christmas Santa brought her a new Pooh bear)
* She had a check up in January that still showed no active signs of arthritis and so we were instructed to further back down her medications to 25mg injections of Enbrel every other week

And now here we are.  It is February and Mackenzie has been on the lowest levels of meds she has experienced since her diagnosis back in November of 2012 and she is doing amazing!  My heart just soars as I watch her grow, play, participate and enjoy childhood.  These things weren’t even possible for her just a year ago!  We have so very much to be thankful for!

As we get ready for the Walk on May 7th we will once again be hosting our Mom2Mom Sale as our “big” fundraiser for the Walk.  The sale will take place on Saturday, April 16th at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church from 9a to 1p.  There will be between 20 and 25 vendors selling infant and children’s clothing, baby equipment (car seats, high chairs, pack ‘n plays, swings, strollers, etc.), toys, books, games, and much more.  There will also be a Bake Sale and a Girl Scout Cookie Booth (Mackenzie will be there selling cookies so be sure to stop and say hello).  For more information on the sale or to register for a sellers booth please click on the Contact Us tab and send us a message.  You can also find a flyer with more information under the Events tab.

Over the months since the last Walk we have also been introduced to new families that have had a child recently receive a diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis.  We have also watched as members of our JA family have struggled with set backs, numerous surgeries, being wheel chair bound, have siblings receive JA diagnosis’, have medication reactions and more.  As we celebrate the amazing progress Mackenzie is making everyday our hearts break for our JA families that are struggling.  For this reason we will always pray, advocate, fundraise, and generate awareness about this disease.  We will not stop until a cure is found!

If you would like to join Mackenzie at the 2016 Walk to Cure Arthritis please click on this link and then click Join Team.  She would love to have you come support her and Walk with her.  http://www.walktocurearthritis.org/grandrapids/mackenziessidekicks  (if you are unable to click on the link, please copy and paste it into your browser). We always have room for more Team Members.  It’s free to register so mark your calendar and plan to be at John Ball Park on May 7th to support Mackenzie and help us Walk towards a Cure!

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