Walk AS One is an all-volunteer organization that mobilizes and motivates a global community to raise awareness and address the challenges of those affected by Ankylosing Spondylitis and its family of related diseases.
Walk AS One was formed in late 2015 following the extraordinary success of our fourth Walk Your AS Off awareness campaign.
As the event continued to grow year on year, it became apparent that the Ankylosing Spondylitis community wanted to do even more year-round to help raise awareness of the condition that affects millions globally. And so, Walk AS One was born.
Our main goal at Walk AS One
We want to help those with Ankylosing Spondylitis lead happier, healthier, and less painful lives. Walking is known to have great health benefits, and this couldn’t be more true with Ankylosing Spondylitis sufferers.
Walk AS One exists to encourage and motivate those with Ankylosing Spondylitis to be more active through walking and regular exercise so that they can be in charge of their condition, and work towards improving their quality of life.
Through our efforts, we hope that more people hear about Ankylosing Spondylitis and the effects it has on people's lives. It currently takes an average of 10 years for someone in The United States to get the correct diagnosis. Similar diagnosis times are prevalent elsewhere in the world.
By helping to support us, we can work together to help reduce that time to ensure people are being diagnosed quicker, and as a result, are starting on the correct treatment sooner, thus avoiding as much irreversible damage as possible.
Walk AS One is a registered non-profit charity with 501c3 status. You can help fundraise or donate in a variety of ways. Check out our donations page for more details.
If you have any questions or would like to get involved with our efforts, we would love to hear from you!
You can get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to us at Walk AS One, PO BOX 5296, Augusta, Maine, 04332.
Your support is greatly appreciated.
Ricky White - President
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Walk AS One.
I have been part of the organization since its inception, first as the vice-president, and now as the president. Having been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2010, I have been a patient advocate from day 1. Firstly as a blogger and community member, then as a fundraiser, and now as a member of a budding non-profit. I strive each and every day to better myself and increase my knowledge as a whole, and I will continue to spread awareness and positivity until the day I die.
I am the team captain of ‘Making Trax’, and if you don’t have a team to join, then join us! I’m always welcoming to those newly diagnosed, and happy to assist in providing appropriate and accurate information. You can email me anytime on email@example.com.
Heather Stewart - Vice President
Greetings, I am Heather. I joined Walk Your AS Off in 2013 by starting the Rockin’ Weebles with a dear friend named Erin Filipich. I heard about the walk at the end of the campaign the previous year and wanted to participate so I jumped all in and formed an international team. Like Ricky, I am a founding member of Walk AS One.
I was a state champion baton twirler, champion dancer and an athlete. During graduate school, I started experiencing chronic pain and fatigue but even with a family history of AS, I was told people of color could not have AS. After seeing my grandfather’s rheumatologist I was finally diagnosed.
I can’t do all the things I used to but I keep my active mind going with volunteering, singing with the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, reading, spending time with family, playing with my dogs, and quilting. I have gained an extra partner on this journey, her name is Storm and she is my Great Dane service dog. I do everything with music so you will see my Monday motivation posts with links to various songs - feel free to send me ideas. I am a Walk Ambassador & Team Captain of The Rockin’ Weebles! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Andrews - Treasurer
I was an avid athlete until my severe foot problems altered my path going forward. It was there during one of my follow up visits started the path to look further as my doc was not sold that was all that was going on. At that point, I was fortunate to have lived about 40 minutes from the Mayo Clinic that they found that I had Ankylosing Spondylitis. I started looking into our medical family history to try to give the doctor as much information as possible. I have adapted having to do things a different way as “ I will climb the mountain just altering my path.”
I hold an active support group here in Maine for those with AS, I want to make sure they are not alone. I work in the public sector, and in my spare time do genetic family history. I am also the Team Captain of It’s in my DNA to KIck AS. You may reach me at email@example.com
You can email her on - firstname.lastname@example.org
Brittany Hall - Secretary
Hi AS Community, I’m Brittany! I was lucky to be diagnosed at the young age of 23. I was vacationing in Costa Rica with my now fiancé and was waking up in way more pain than anyone should have while on vacation. That was in August of 2013 and I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis by March of 2014. I say I’m lucky because so many AS warriors go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed for years upon years. That’s what I’m here for.
Walk AS One has shown me that all movement (steps) count and matter. I adopted the motto, “Be Brave, Keep Moving,” for myself after being diagnosed so I am proud to be working with an organization that is on the same page. Bringing awareness and relief to our community is just one small goal of mine.
In my spare time, I enjoy staying active with CrossFit and hiking with my fiancé. I love to craft, organize events, and stay busy. Add bringing awareness to Ankylosing Spondylitis to the list and that wraps my passions all up in one. My fiancé and I currently live in New Jersey with our three dogs and dream to move to Utah (hiking galore!) within the next decade.
I can be reached at email@example.com at any time and remember, be brave and keep moving.
Victoria Greenberg - Board Member
Hi, I am Victoria and my brother, Michael, was formally diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in April 1985. My brother was told he had a textbook case of Ankylosing Spondylitis. The doctor performed a blood test which confirmed that he had the HLA-B27 marker and that was it.
I also have had the blood test and I am positive for the HLA-B27 marker but I do not have Ankylosing Spondylitis. By 1989, my brother was totally fused, neck, and spine. In time, my brother created ‘Spondyville,’ where everyone has AS, and therefore, no-one had to feel alone in dealing with this disease. But in the beginning, my brother felt all alone in dealing with this disease.
So as Michael began his AS journey, I was always by his side as his medical advocate when he needed a voice to handle the medical providers, hospitals and insurance companies during various events/stages of his life – to be his medical advocate through the constant medical ups and downs of living with A.S. As his advocate I carried a notebook and/or iPhone taking extensive notes during doctor/hospital visits. Over the years, I took on the medical insurance companies when my brother was denied coverage for a new medical treatment. I was on a mission to inform, raise awareness and educate everyone, especially the medical community, on how daily life was really going for my brother and all of his daily challenges living with Ankylosing Spondylitis.
I hope to bring the same enthusiastic mission, support, and awareness to others living with A.S. through Walk ASOne! My support of Walk AS One and the community brings a compassionate understanding of the many voices that need to be heard! We are all walking and moving for a single purpose - “ to raise awareness and address the challenges of everyone affected by Ankylosing Spondylitis and its family of related diseases.”
I am very proud to be part of Walk ASOne!
You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Canady - Board Member
Hello, my name is Summer. I had a rather difficult and long journey to finally receive a diagnosis of AS. I spent 19 years searching for answers, the biggest part of that time I followed a healthy diet, stayed active and took no medication. In 2016 I finally had an answer, after several very severe episodes of iritis my eye Doctor be of all people did the blood work for the HLA-B27 of course I was positive and the ball was now in motion. I was quickly placed on treatment because my SI joints were starting to fuse.
I knew the importance of staying active and I was an avid hiker. I wanted to do more though, I just couldn't imagine other people having to wait so long for answers. I discovered a few non-profit groups and jumped in to do what I can. I started the first support group for the state of TN and created support groups socially as well.
This has been a blessing for me because I get to help others on their journey. I blog about what it's like to have AS and I'm always advocating for the community. When I found walk AS one I was so pleased with the project Walk Your AS Off and used it as a teaching moment. I held a local event to hike while telling others what AS is and why we were hiking.
Just recently I had the opportunity to become a board member for the group and I look forward to expanding my knowledge, and ability to advocate for the AS community. You can email me at email@example.com
Richard Howard - Board Member
Adrienne Taren - Medical Advisory Board Member
Adrienne Taren has captained the WYASO team "Endurance for AS" since 2014. She earned an MD and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh-Carnegie Mellon University Medical Scientist Training Program and is currently a resident physician with a research program focusing on the effects of stress and stress reduction interventions (such as mindfulness training) on brain structure and function. In her spare time, she can be found riding a bike (or five) through the gravel hills of Oklahoma.