Local rider forms team to promote awareness, raise money to fight arthritis
Steve Cardin was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, or EDS, which is a type of arthritis whose effects include joint hypermobility or loose pain and skin manifestations such as hyperextensibility or bruising.
Cardin, along with his wife Deanna Cardin, Walt Pekola, Christine Berg, Joe Thomas and JJ Meija and a blind cyclist from Seattle who rides tandem with her co-pilot will be riding to raise money for research of this disease.
This year’s People’s Coast Classic will take place next week, Sept. 8-13 and the ride will take the bicyclists down the Oregon Coast.
Cardin has lived in the Lake Stevens and Granite Falls area for the last 23 years and was diagnosed with EDL in 2009. Many members of his team have some form of arthritis.
Cardin participates each year to help bring awareness to all those who suffer from arthritis and specifically EDS.
“The research that the Arthritis Foundation is doing on pain management can be very beneficial to those with EDS. Also, arthritis affects millions of Americans including some close members of my family,” Cardin said. “The CDC estimates that there are 50 million Americans with arthritis and 294,000 of those are under the age of 18. To me that is unacceptable and we need to do something to ease the suffering.”
Trying to learn to live with EDS has been a challenge but Cardin has found that exercise is essential to helping him stay strong, both mentally and physically.
“EDS has given me a different outlook on life. I try to focus my energy in a more positive direction, rather than dwelling on the negative. There is nothing I can do to change the fact that I have EDS so I just have to try to make the best of it,” he said. “I live each day to its fullest and cycling has helped me to enjoy life outdoors.”
If you would like to help Cardin and his team reach their goal of raising $2,500 for this year’s event please visit tapcc.kintera.org.