Every year the Arthritis Foundation chooses an honoree to represent them in the annual area Arthritis Walk. This year the foundation chose Kathy Jo Resseguie, who is one of Rockford High School’s long-time cheer coaches and has a daily struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Resseguie will be entering her 19th year coaching cheer at the high school and her 14th year since being diagnosed with RA.
“I am very honored and never imagined being asked; there are so many people affected by arthritis in the area. Through the walk I have been able to help raise awareness and help raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation so they may continue research efforts and continue to provide the many services they offer to people with arthritis, especially the children. One of my greatest fears and worries in life everyday is that someday my own daughters will have to endure this disease. I pray that with donations and research that fear will never come true.”
Through the last 14 years, Resseguie has gone through numerous medications, trials and errors but finally is happy to have some control of her RA with medication. She still has hope for remission, but continues to stay positive knowing that RA has taught her a lot in life and knows that her positive attitude will serve as an example and inspiration for others.
“Although some days are worse than others, I have always tried to maintain a positive attitude around my athletes. I have always taken seriously the role model that I am to them on the field and more importantly off the field. I always felt in my heart that one day I may be a source of inspiration to them as they may encounter their own life obstacles. Unfortunately, in the past year and a half, two of my former cheerleaders have been diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I can only pray that a cure is found and they can stay positive through their journeys like I have tried.”
Resseguie has participated in the Arthritis Walk since it came to Grand Rapids seven years ago. This year’s walk was held at the John Ball Park Zoo on Saturday, May 5.
If you couldn’t make it out to the walk but would still like to help, donations can be made online at www.arthritis.org or www.letsmovetogether.org, follow the links to Resseguie’s personal page, or to Resseguie herself. Pegasus Sports of Rockford has also helped create “Cheer for a Cure” team t-shirts, which are available for $10 each (sizes 2T through adult) with all proceeds going toward her fundraising.
Resseguie will also be at Rockford High School on Wednesday, May 16 from 3:15 to 5 p.m. for an open gym fundraiser for all middle school and high school girls interested in cheerleading tumbling. Cost is $10, which will all go to her fundraising.
To read Resseguie’s full story as the honoree, please visit www.letsmovetogether.org and follow the links to the Arthritis Walk in Grand Rapids where you can find Resseguie’s personal and team “Cheer for a Cure” fundraising pages.