The 5 Challenge

“Is this worth $5 of happiness?”

This is a question my friend and sister-in-law Janet asks herself when tempted to purchase something slightly frivolous. It’s a great way to find out if you’re in the grip of an impulse that will evaporate the minute you leave the store, or whether you will actually be happy you bought this the silly little thing (or not-so-silly — good chocolate could qualify, as well).

Today I’m asking you for five dollars. It can be the five dollars you didn’t spend on a trashy magazine or neon-coloured bandana. Or it can be the five dollars you spend on a coffee and a muffin, or the tips for the delivery guy.

There’s nothing wrong with spending your money on any one of those things, but today - and just today - I’m going to ask that you spend them on research and support programs for people with arthritis.
On June 4, I am walking the 5K in the Walk to Fight Arthritis. And I’d love to raise $500 in donations of five dollars each.

Arthritis has no borders. Someone who lives with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Canada is going through the same symptoms as someone who lives in the US, or Denmark, or the UK, or Ghana, or Malaysia. We face the same grief at the loss of who we were, struggle to find acceptance, experience depression, try straight together money for treatment, and we all are hoping for a cure.

The answers have no borders, either. The support programs available in one country can be replicated in another. Canadian research that chips away at breaking opening the mystery of RA will inform research in the US and Australia and Japan.

I found my tribe, my peeps with RA and other types of chronic illness online. I have never met you or the others who have become my friends over the past 12 years and it doesn’t matter. Because friendship has no boundaries, either.

We are all in this together. And to show this, on June 4 I will affix a sticker to my person with the name of every person who supports my Walk with $5. Because I want you with me there in spirit.

Is this worth five dollars of happiness?

PS The Arthritis Society has just announced that your $5 will become $10 over the next nine days. Until May 24, an anonymous donor will match donations to the Walk, up to $25,000.



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