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Gardening Lifts Spirits Of Arthritis Patients

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Adrienne Bankert
Adrienne has had many memorable moments in North Texas since joini...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - According to the Arthritis Foundation, the disease in its many forms is the leading cause of disability in this country. The debilitating condition affects those of all ages. In those under 18, it can mean joint pain and abnormal bone growth, symptoms of juvenile arthritis.

North Texan Michelle Gummer was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at just 24 years old. Medication helped, but her outlook improved once she began gardening. Since movement became limited in her hands, she was in need of some special tools. Through volunteering with the foundation, Michelle discovered gardening shears and pruners specifically tested to be easier to use for those with limitations specific to arthritis.

Michelle is now 31, and off medication so that she and her husband could start a family. The gardening is providing a way to feel useful, self-confident and empowered. Michelle’s baby boy is due this July.

The Arthritis Foundation also recommends tai chi and swimming as a way for patients to take off the limits while still being kind to their body and getting physical exercise at the same time.

The Dallas Arthritis Walk will be held May 18 in Dallas, to raise money towards research, rehabilitation and finding a cure. Click here for more information.

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