McKay honored as adult honoree by the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation


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Margo’s Hot Mess Express all wearing orange to represent their team at the Jingle Bell Run

Ellie Youngquist, Writer

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the functioning of joints. In some cases, it can lead to the immune system attacking joints, as well as organs. The disease causes swelling and stiffness in joints, and medications may induce fatigue, anemia and forgetfulness. There is currently no cure for the illness. It is the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to pursue a cure for the disease. By hosting events, such as their most recent Jingle Bell Run, they collect donations to continue their progress towards finding a cure, and OHS’s very own Ms. Margo McKay was the Rheumatoid Arthritis Adult Honoree at the Jingle Bell Run event. 

Ms. McKay is a guidance counselor at OHS. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 13 years ago. The condition has put a damper on her daily activities and limits what she is able to do every day, such as taking her dogs on walks. Ms. McKay said, “It can be a very lonely, isolating disease. I’m so thankful to have people around me all the time.” Last fall Ms. McKay was approached by a representative from the foundation and asked to be the following year’s adult honoree. 

The walk/run consists of teams who will participate in the foundation’s race to a cure. Margo’s Hot Mess Express, one of the bigger teams at the event with 45 people, wore orange to represent Ms. McKay’s favorite color. Ms. McKay was hopeful to walk the entire course, but she had concerns that her rheumatoid arthritis would prevent her from doing so. Fighting through sleet and cold, she was able to cross the finish line. Ms. McKay said, “At your weakest moments, you have people who can help carry you along the way.”

“We don’t get to pick how we are. All we can do is deal with it, and support each other.””

— Ms. Margo McKay

Before the race, all honorees were brought on stage to share their stories. Many of Ms. Mckay’s friends, past and present co-workers and family were there to support her. Ms. McKay said, “We don’t get to pick how we are. All we can do is deal with it, and support each other.” Her team went on to be one of the top teams, receiving over $5,000 in donations. Donations can be made on the Arthritis Foundation’s website to support research in arthritis.