I’m really happy to say that the Autoimmune Expedition reached it’s fundraising goal of over $14,411!!
I had the honour of speaking at the Arthritis Society’s donor appreciation luncheon in Vancouver on October 9th. After my presentation many of the very generous attendees were happy to contribute even more to a cause they have supported for years. It was great to see.
I really appreciate the support I’ve had from everyone who donated or followed the trip, and of course from my team mates and family who supported throughout. Thanks again! It was a great experience and opportunity to support a very worthy cause.
The kick off party on June 26th was a success. There were around 60 people in attendance. Thanks to everyone who came and gave generously to the cause!
Special thanks are in order for my Mom (Jane Marshall) who baked most of the food for the evening, my wife Marie who helped on all fronts, and my friends and trip companions Steve and Sarah who helped at the door. Thanks also to Andrew and Christine, Tyler Norton, and everyone who helped spread the word.
I would also like to thank Mark and Showcase Snowboards who kindly offered to host the party at the shop. They donated the venue, staff time for 3 employees, a Whistler bike park pass for a door prize, and 25% of all clothing sales from the evening ($155). We also had great door prizes from MEC, Cactus Club, ArcTeryx, Rocky Mountain, Steed Cycles, G3, Moja Coffee, Red Truck Brewery, Bridge Brewery, and Xoxolat Chocolaterie. The 50/50 winner also walked away with $245!
A table of door prizes
Great venue at Showcase Snowboards
The Autoimmune Expedition kick off party is scheduled for Wednesday June 26th.
It will be at the Showcase Snowboard, Skate, and Surf Shop in Vancouver (W. 4th and Burrard Street) from 7-11 pm. Everyone is welcome!!
Tickets are $10 at the door (gets you one free drink). There will be a 50/50 draw, beer from Red Truck Brewery, wine, snacks, music. There will also be great door prizes from a number of generous local businesses (MEC, ArcTeryx, G3, Rocky Mountain, Steed Cycles, Cactus Club, Moja Coffee, Bridge Brewery, etc).
I hope to see everyone there.
Wegener’s Granulomtosis, or GPA, fits in the broad category of autoimmune diseases. It is also a type of Vasculitis. Vasculitis are a group of disorders that destroy blood vessels through inflammation. Wegener’s primarily affects the blood vessels in the sinuses, lungs, and kidneys. So why the Arthritis Society? Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints right? Most people probably don’t realize that there are over 100 different types of arthirtis, and yes, Wegener’s also fits into this category. Oddly enough one of the first symptoms of the disease for me was severe joint pain. Joint pain is still the first indicator for me that my disease may be flaring up again. I see an excellent Rheumatologist at the Pacific Arthritis Centre and many of the drugs I have received are commonly used to treat other types of arthritis.
Rare diseases with similar symptoms and treatment regimes are commonly lumped together in order to fund research in causes and treatments for the diseases. Wegener’s is one of the conditions in the subset of arthritis conditions call Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases, or SARDS. Systemic diseases can affect any organ in the body. In my case, my lungs and sinuses took the brunt of the diseases, but my eyes, ears, skin, and joints were also affected.
I chose to support the Arthritis Society because I know that arthritis affects far more people than Wegener’s alone. In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Canada. My goal is to increase my audience but also to raise money for research that will directly benefit people suffering from the same disease as me. I am thrilled to have the support of the Arthritis Society in organizing this event. The money raised will go directly to SARDs specific research. My hope is that one day soon there will be a cure.
I just added more information about how to donate to this fundraising initiative under the “Donate” tab at the top. Official tax receipts will be issued by the Arthritis Society. As mentioned, all of the money raised during this expedition will go to the Arthritis Society and specific research of SARDs. Thanks for your support! – Pete