By: Michael Ganzman
I stay very active for a 70-year-old, said Linda Farthing, a woman from Butler who is turning 70 in November.
After nearly seven decades, Farthing continues to stay energized. One way she stays active is by going on frequent walks, which she says keeps her fit and also helps her overcome health issues she has faced over the years.
Ive had arthritis for forever it seems like, Farthing said. Its been in my hands Ive been going to the doctor for it for over 30 years.
Exercise is an important part of strengthening joints so arthritis does not overtake the body. Farthings individual walking eventually turned into a way to combat the disease in a new way, as she started going to charity walks that raised money for research to help find a cure for arthritis.
Her first walk was in the year 2000, when she traveled to Knoxville to participate in their annual Jingle Bell Walk. This event offers a five kilometer and one mile courses. The Jingle Bell Walk also has a section geared toward kids called the Christmas Race that allows pets to participate and urges runners to dress in holiday costumes.
Also in 2000, Farthing attended another walk which happened to be a little further away. This walk was in Dublin, Ireland, where Farthing and others trekked along the lush green hills of the country.
I always wanted to walk near the creeks because it reminded me of where I trained, she said. I dont think they realized, but it was a lot like Johnson County.
These walks all seek to raise money in hopes of finding a cure for arthritis, which affects nearly 40 million people in the United States alone. Farthing says that helping other people in need is the key reason why she walks at these benefit events.
Thats what really got me into this, she said. If we can go and earn a little money to help somebody else, then to me thats a blessing.
It has been years since Farthing has been in a charity walk but this year she will be returning to Knoxville to participate in the same Jingle Bell Walk she participated in 15 years ago.
A few weeks ago I just decided to go, she said. Im turning 70 and I thought I could do it to help somebody else.
Farthing will not be going alone, however, as her family will be joining her to participate in the walk
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