2016 Teams

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2016 Walk Your AS Off Teams 


The STheHomeTeamAA Home Team – Official Team for the Spondylitis Association of America –  Los Angeles, California

The Spondylitis Association of America was founded in 1984. SAA is the Largest NON-PROFIT in the US dedicated to Ankylosing Spondylitis and Related Diseases. Visit us at www.spondylitis.org.

Our mission at the Spondylitis Association of America is to be a leader in the quest to cure Ankylosing Spondylitis and related diseases, and to empower those affected to live life to the fullest.

Team Torus Ankylosaurus – Formerly Known as ReFUSE To Lose and WYASO World Cup Holders for 2015WP_20150613_018

Jessica Cuccio, Team Captain of reFUSE to Lose, has a three-person team that won the WYASO WORLD CUP for the highest average steps per person in WYASO 2015. This year, they have re-entered our walk as Team Torus Ankylosaurus. They have just 3 members and they averaged 580,667 steps per walker! WYASO has showed me that I am capable of so much more that I have ever given myself credit for. My advice for anyone trying to improve their daily steps is to gently nudge yourself forward.  In April, I struggled to find my comfort zone. I so badly wanted to walk three miles but the more I pushed myself, the more I hurt and that put my mind in a bad place.  I have learnt to pace myself.  I couldn’t continuously walk 3 miles, but I could walk 2 miles in the AM and 2 miles in the evening.


Rockin’ Weebles: Weebles Kick A.S. 


Weebles Kick A.S. because Weebles wobble. (Some of us might weeble and wobble with A.S, but we don’t fall down. Check in with us on Facebook for updates, information,inspiration and fun.) Team Captains Heather Stewart & Erin Filipich invite you to join The Rockin’ Weebles.

We have walkers from all over the world! We’d love to have you join us from anywhere in the world you walk & live.” Do you want to get involved?

There’s no pressure, simply wear a pedometer and track your daily steps or share the distance you walk, run or bike.

Bad AS Walkers in AZBad AS Walkers in AZ – Tucson, Arizona

Facebook: Bad AS Walkers in AZ

Comment from Team Captain Jacquie Gregor:I have been the Team Captain for the last few years for our Arizona team “Bad A.S. Wakers in AZ.” We are a small, dedicated group. I was diagnosed with A.S. In 2007 after breathing problems and a large mass on my Sternoclavicular joint. I don’t think I have had a day without pain since the year 2000. I walk because with each step I think of those walking all over the world and how together we are raising awareness for AS. We also have the opportunity to see our own potential. With this global and individual awareness we CAN and WILL make a difference.

TeamDontWorryBeHappyDon’t Worry, Be Happy! – Fresno, California

Comment from Tess Johnson, Team Captain:  Welcome to Team “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” We believe it’s important to keep walking while we can to show our unwavering support for those with A.S. who wish they could walk more. Our team’s home-base is in Fresno, CA, but we have teammates from many cities, far and wide.

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” was originally formed in 2013, and we proudly posted a huge step count of over 17 million steps! This year, the sky’s the limit, but whatever our total might be, we just feel lucky to be able to gather in honor of those who refuse to let A.S. take them down.

We’ve Got Your Back! For Fighting For Ankylosing Spondylitis – Santa Monica, California FightingForAS

Facebook: We’ve Got Your Back – Fighting for AS

Comment from Erica Levi, Team Captain: My team is a mixed group of people. Most are from an AS support group. Others do not have AS, but are friends and family of ASers. The funds we raise will go to help the charity I am starting called Fighting for AS: We’ve Got Your Back!”

TeamSarcASmTeam SarcASm – Southern California & West Virginia

Facebook: Team SarcASm – Fundraising for the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF)

Team Captains Brit Johnson & Adam Wolfe are proud to be stepping for our 3rd year in a row! Both Team Captains are going for the Million Step Challenge and are raising moneythrough the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF), and run/walk throughout the year for Racing For a Cure. The ANRF has set up a specific grant that goes towards AS and spondylitis research through WYASO! Find #TeamSarcASm on Twitter. 

Britt on Twitter @hurtbloggerDonate to Britt: Racing for a cure.

Adam on Twitter @saxguy01. Donate to Adam: Racing for a cure.

Team PAWS for our Causepawsforourcauselogo – USA, Worldwide

In 2014, after much debate and a few amazing stories, we decided to include our furry friends in our campaigns.

We count their steps but they are shown separately and if the amount of steps from our pups ever became significant to make (others) feel we didn’t reach Mars without them – well then, we’d go those number of steps past the Red Planet and squash those nay sayers’ in extra steps for heaven’s sake!

WarrensWarriors2014logoWarren’s Warriors California

Comment from Team Captain Rose Richardson: We are walking for Lynette Warren.

Warren’s Warriors have been walking with Walk Your AS off for a number of years and they have always supported our endeavors to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Fitch Feet – Morgan Hill, Northern California 

FitchFeet2014logoTeam Captain Karen Fitch leads a group of walkers in northern California. Karen is very active with her Fitch Feet’s Facebook page, and she is also an Official WYASO blogger.

Comment from Karen: “I love my team of steppers. They all signed up to help collect steps & raise awareness. They all know that I have A.S. and they are super supportive.”

Kick AS Striders – Florida

Team Captain Diane Cappelli says that Kick AS Striders are walking to raise awareness. We believe every step we take helps bring awareness about Spondylitis to people we meet along the way. We are home based in Florida but have members up and down the east coast. We take one day at a time and one step at a time. I walked last year for Team Maia’s Warriors. I have AS and I’m one of those who are HLA-B27 negative. I have bi-lateral SI Joint fusion, cervical spine is fused from C2-C7. I do not let AS slow me down – well, ok I try to not let it. I work full time and on May 7th I will receive my Associates of Arts Degree at the ripe old age of 54. I will then go on to work on my BS in Health Administration. 

Team Movin & Groovin – Georgia

Message from Team Captain Laura: I was diagnosed with A.S. about seven years ago, and it is something I struggle with mentally and physically every day, but I’m determined not to let it keep me down. My team is made up of friends and family members who wish to show their support and/or walk more to improve their own health. We are Movin’ and Groovin’ because music really helps motivate me to get a move on. We are mostly from Georgia in the U.S.A., with the exception of two wonderful friends in Colorado.

Walk Your ILLinois AS Off – Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Ready To Kick Some AS – Illinois

Team Captain Kelly says that her team is ready to kick some AS. This is my first year doing this and my friends and family are being supportive. I am 21 years old and have AS; I have had arthritis since I was 7 years old. I love this walk and am excited to be a part of it.

Quad Cities Kicks AS! – Iowa

Comment from Team Captain Kelly: I’m Kelly, Captain of Quad Cities Kicks AS! We’re in Davenport, Iowa (about 4 hours southwest of Chicago, on the Mississippi River) and this is our first year participating! I’m 35 and only been diagnosed a year now with AS. 

The Blue Apples – Ohio and Maine TheBlueApples

Facebook: The Blue Apples

The Blue Apples were the very first team to start walking for AS. The team was founded in 2012 for Walk Your A.S. Off by WYASO site founder, Jennifer Visscher. 

Track your steps from April 1st until May 31st to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis.

The Maine-iAcS – MaineTheMaine iAcS

Comment From Susan Dye, Team Captain:  This will be my third year walking for raising awareness of AS through Walk Your A.S. Off.  

Since my daughter, Jennifer Dye Visscher, has AS and founded the Walk, it is very important to me and to our family that we continue to promote awareness and health through the Walk.  I’m getting ready to go!  I hope you all are, too.

The CL-A.S.-Y Walkers – Clarksville, Maryland

Facebook: The CL-A.S._Y Walkers

Comment from Team Captain Melinda: Hi Everyone! I live in Clarksville, Maryland, which is between Baltimore and Washington D.C. I amclASyWalkers2014logoTeam Captain of The CL-A.S.-Y Walkers, which has members in Maryland and across the USA. I deal with having A.S. and Crohn’s disease by practicing and teaching therapeutic yoga. In August I will be in the first graduating class anywhere to have a Master of Science degree in Yoga Therapy.

Move It or Fuse It – Minnesota

Comment from Team Captain Jackie: I’m 17 and only diagnosed around a year ago, but I found that this walk is a perfect way to get my friends and family to understand what AS really is! Thanks for letting me be a part of this!

A Bunch of AS Kickers  New Mexico

Website: http://www.ankysponwhat.co – Twitter: @jLameireABunchOfASkickers

Comment From Joyce:  Hi my name is Joyce Wallace-Lameire and I have a “Health Challenged Disease” called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was diagnosed in 1992 and up until 2011 was in remission and then suddenly found myself bed ridden with chronic pain. I didn’t think I could do the campaign for WYASO but I did and was grateful my body held up. My team of 8 was awesome as we were able to get 5326374 steps to help get us to the moon. This year I’m doing better and have
recruited 17 friends and family to help me out but would love to have maybe 40 more! If your interested it would be fantastic to have you on my team, and we do have T-Shirts!

Kicking A.S. & Taking Names TeamKickingASandTakingNamesBlue– Pearl River, New York

Facebook: Kicking A.S. & Taking Names

This is our team page for Walk your A.S. Off.  We are a bunch of first responders, some A.S. patients, Casey’s family and general supporters of finding a cure for A.S. Thank you all so much for helping me to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis. It means the world to us!

Spondyville Fusers – New York and Spondyville

Facebook: Spondyville Fusers

Comment From Team Captain Michael Smith: The Spondyville Fusers are looking for a few good Spondys to join their team. If you are interested inSpondyville Fusers 2014being on the highest scoring team, the Fusers is NOT the team for you. We’re looking for people that are interested in participating, but don’t want the stress of competition. We want you to walk at your own pace and contribute whatever you can. 

No pressure. No mandatory number of steps. The Fusers encourage you to go at your own pace, whatever that may be. It’s your walk and your body. Respect them both. As the old Fusers saying goes, “Somebody has to come in fifth … or eighth … or eleventh.” Visit our Website: Spondyville.com

Little Steps Of HopeLittleStepsOfHope2014logo – Swanton, Ohio 

Walk with us to help raise some much needed A.S. awareness. Together we can do this!

Stepping with SpondyMom – Oregon

Facebook: Spondy MomSteppingWithSpondyMom2014

Spondy Mom’s Team Captain Amber Panagos has a very supportive and extremely active Facebook page. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join our team! AS Warriors, supports, family and friends! Lets raise some much-needed AS Awareness, one step at a time!

Perseverance Warriors Against AS, Oregon 

Team Captain Bree Trejo here. I live in Oregon.  I was diagnosed with AS in Nov. 2014. This is Our Teams First Annual Walk for Walk You AS Off. We Believe that with each step we bring awareness about Ankylosing Spondylitis to more and more people. We have a team of 10 currently with our youngest walker bring 9 years old. We feel it’s never to early or late to spread the word. Currently I am the only person on the team with AS but I am blessed with what I call my AS Angels who are so understanding and supportive. Of your interested in joining but don’t have a pedometer please don’t let that stop you. I have found them for cheap and stocking up.

Endurance For AS – Pittsburgh, PAENDURANCEforAS2014logo

Facebook: Endurance for AS

Team Captain Adrienne Taren’s group Endurance for AS is combined of endurance athletes and supporters of all levels kicking AS. Comment from Adrienne: I’m in Pittsburgh, in the last year of an MD-PhD (finally!) and was somewhat ironically diagnosed with AS in my first year of med school after 6 years of declining function. The doc who finally listened to me probably saved my career, and even got me back into running. This is my 3rd year participating in WYASO, and the support each year always makes me cry at least a few times.

Do The Truttle – Philadelphia, PA DoTheTruttle2014logo

Comment from Team Captain Michele Seher: Do The Truttle is a group of Walk Your AS Off participants from the Philadelphia area. “Truttles” is a family nickname for the member of our team who has Ankylosing Spondylitis. He is ready for this challenge, are you? A million steps sure sounds like a lot, but together I am confident that we can inspire each other to reach this goal. Most importantly, I know that by increasing our daily activity and wearing pedometers, we can spark conversation that will raise awareness of AS. Every single step will be worth it if we can raise enough awareness to shorten just one person’s path to diagnosis, treatment, and support. So, please join us, and let’s get walking together!

Hope Walkers – Austin, Texas

Comment from Susan Swarts, Team Captain:  I am the team captain for the Hope Walkers and this is our 3rd year walking to raise awareness about Ankylosing Spondylitis otherwise known as A.S. 

This is very important to me because someone very dear TeamHopeWalkersto me has this autoimmune disease, my sister Lisa. She is a single mom, accomplished business woman and an inspiration to me. You would never know she’s not feeling well, in pain or having a flare by spending time with her because she smiles through it all and lives life as normal as possible, making the best of each day.  You can join me in supporting my sister, Lisa, and help raise awareness about A.S. by walking, running or biking. 

Coach Matt’s AS Kickers – Garland, Texas

I’m Jennifer, Captain of Coach Matt’s AS kickers. I live in Garland, Texas. This is my first year doing the walk and I’m sooooo excited to be a part of it and raise awareness for AS. I am walking for my husband, Matt, who was diagnosed with AS in 2005. He has been a pee wee football coach for 5 years, suffering every minute while doing it, without the parents even knowing his situation. He does so much for others; I wanted to show him that people would do this for him. I will be raising money for the Arthritis National Research Foundation. I’m grateful I found this organization and to have “met” such wonderful, caring people. I love how everyone is like family here, even though we’ve never met.

AUSTRALIA 2016 TEAMASsieWalkers2014logo

ASsie Walkers – Gold Coast Qld

Comment from Team Captain Gilly: Hey all, I’m Gilly and started the Assie Walkers (We’re down under in Australia.) 

We would love all ASers in Australia to join our team and help raise awareness around the world.


Orange ApplesTheOrangeApples – Home Team for the National Association of Ankylosing Spondylitis (NASS)

Facebook: Orange Apples

  • Fundraising for NASS – National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society
  • Please visit Gillian’s Fundraising Just Giving Page for how to contribute.

Team Captain Gillian Eames, along with her Co-Captain Jean Morton, lead a MASSIVE group of walkers in Great Britain. Follow Gillian Eames on Twitter @GillianEames – Comment from Gillian: We have about 90 people on our team, mainly from the UK. We have two Members of Parliament along with two consultants, research nurses and physiotherapists. l was originally on Jennifer<‘s Blue Apples Team, but last year l decided to start the Orange Apples Team. I had no idea how large we would grow. Raising awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis(AS) is very important to me. In the UK, we need to educate so many people within our national health system as to what AS is. l did the drug trials in the UK for the use of Enbrel for AS patients for 5 years from 2002. l will share the video with you as to what happened to me after the trial ended.

Ria’s Kick A.S. Walkers 

Team Co-Captain Budd: I am Co-Captain of “Ria’s Kick A.S. Walkers”! I live in Largo, Florida (in the Tampa Bay Area on the Beach). I am an AS Warrior and have suffered with AS for 36 years now. I used to be an Insurance Company Executive, prior to becoming unable to work and eventually disabled. I’m an avid fan of Cruises, and I’m an Activist in my spare time for Humanitarian Issues, Animal Rights Advocate, Women’s Rights Advocate, Equal Rights Proponent, and an Environmental & Political Activist from my iPad in bed. I have been married to my Angel of a wife, Mary for 27 years on 08/06 of this year, and I’m the proud Father of two adult young men, Joshua (25, married, and an officer at JP Morgan Chase), and Tad (21, college graduate at only 18, the youngest person in the USA to bowl to back to back sanctioned 300 games at age 16 & 4 months, and a graduate as an ASE Master Mechanic this summer from PTEC). Well, that’s me in a nutshell, sorry it’s a lot to take in . I’m honored to be part of this years walk, and hope to be part of it every year now!

AS Buzzers – Captains Kathy Miller and Jerry Dance lead a massive team of walkers from Great Britain.

Count Our Steps


A.S. Busters – The Home Team for the Canadian Spondylitis Association ASbustersLogo2014

A.S. Busters is the home team of the Canadian Spondylitis Association!

This is a massive group of walkers from Canada. Team Captain Michael Mallinson welcomes anyone in Canada or elsewhere who would like to join their team. 

Werk Dat AS – British Columbia 

Walking for the first time this year in the Canadian corner… Coming to you from the University of British Columbia’s Masters of Physical Therapy Class of 2015 and their friends, families and future colleagues… WERK DAT AS!Work Dat AS

Thank you so much for the hard working and dedicated organizers and walkers who have stepped up before us to fight for this fantastic cause. As physiotherapy students we know the career we’ve chosen will be an amazing one… Why is that you ask? Because we know we will be working with people like you every day! 

We promise to devote our days to help strong and dedicated individuals live full and happy lives despite illness, disease or disabilities, including AS. We promise to be a motivator on days that the battle seems lost! We promise to be a cheering member of your team with each victory, both big and small! And most of all, we promise to give our all each and every day to follow the lead of the fantastic physiotherapists in BCGreggsLegs(and the Physiotherapy Association of BC’s motto) to “keep you moving for life”! Ready… Set… LET’S WALK

Gregg’s Legs – Langley, British Columbia

Canadians Walk Their Cold Butts For A.S.


TAIWAN 2016 TEAMThe Walking Spondies

The Walking Spondies – International Team: Taiwan – Canada, South Africa, the UK and the US 

The Walking Spondies is an international team of walkers led by Carrie Kellenberger in Taiwan. Carrie was diagnosed with AS in Taiwan in early 2009. Team members hail from Taiwan, Canada, the US, and the UK.