PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – It is the leading cause of disability in the county. Every 1-in-5 adults along with 300,000 children are affected by arthritis.
On Saturday, May 31, the Pittsburgh Walk to Cure Arthritis takes place at 8 a.m. in the South Side Works. The walk raises awareness and funds to help reduce the negative impact arthritis has on people’s lives.
Tom Walker, a former Major League pitcher and father of Pirates star Neil Walker, is the adult honoree for this year’s Walk for Arthritis. He joined the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about the importance of the Arthritis Foundation and the upcoming walk as well as some baseball.
After retiring from his job last year, Walker says he wanted to give back.
He described arthritis as, “one of the most debilitating diseases out there [that’s] affected myself.” He adds he also saw it affect his wife, his parents and in-laws.
Walker has his own group of walkers he appropriately calls, “Walker’s walkers.” He wants his group raise at least $9,000.
“I expect to go beyond that,” he said.
All of the money that is raised will stay in the area for research.
The Pirates may be currently struggling, but Neil Walker has been hitting the ball well lately. In the first game of the season, Tom says he and his family got to see Neil hit a walk off home run to win. Tom says the moment, “was truly amazing.” His wife’s 93-year-old dad was there to see the homer and Tom says, “I’ve never seen him so excited.”
Walker says he loves going to see his son play when he can.
“I chased Neil around all the little sandlots around western Pennsylvania halfway up and down the coast and I get a chance to go to PNC [Park] and watch him play, I’m going to be there,” he said.
For more information on the walk you can visit arthritiswalkpittsburgh.kintera.org