World AS Day in Taiwan with The Walking Spondies

The Walking SpondiesHi Everyone!

My name is Carrie Kellenberger and I’m Team Captain of The Walking Spondies.

I thought I’d take the time to update you all on what our team got up to on World AS Day, which is always held on the first Saturday of May each year.

This year, World AS Day fell on Saturday, May 7th, and we decided to host our second Walk Your AS Off team event at Da’An Forest Park inCarrie Kellenberger - World AS Day
Taipei.

This was our second team walking event for 2016, and we decided to host a potluck picnic in the park for the afternoon to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis and to have the opportunity to get together and meet our team step goal for the day.

I grossly underestimated how many people would show up for this event, and thus set our team step count goal at 80,000 for the day.

Well, the Taipei Times heard about our awareness event, and we were featured in their weekend What’s Happening Around Town news section in an article called Walking To Mars!

I would like to thank Taipei Times reporter Han Cheung for taking the time to learn about our awareness event.

We ended up having 47 walkers show up for our picnic in the park, which started at 2pm and ended at 6pm.

During that time, we ate a lot of food, talked a lot about Ankylosing Spondylitis and what is happening with folks in Taiwan who have it. We walked throughout the afternoon, played frisbee and soccer, ran around with water guns and squirted each other. Everyone had an awesome day despite Taiwan’s ridiculously hot and humid May weather.The Walking Spondies World AS Day_1

You would not believe how much food we had! Everyone left full and satisfied.

As I mentioned earlier, I had set our team step goal for World AS Day at 80,000 steps. We ended up walking 262,083 steps that day as a team.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out. I have heard many people complain that folks just don’t understand what it is like to have Ankylosing Spondylitis. In my case, I am fortunate to live in a community of people that are extremely supportive and helpful.

I don’t know if it’s because I live overseas and that is just how expats help each other or if it’s something else, but what I can tell you is that Taiwan is full of amazing, friendly, helpful folks who don’t judge and who have always been here for me to lean on.

I have seen this happen with friends who have been in car accidents and I have seen our community come together when people have fallen ill or met with misfortune. I love knowing that whenever anyone in the expat community in Taiwan has been in need, their friends and supporters are there to take care of them. I am so proud to be a part of this community.

Thank you all so much for being there!John Kellenberger - The Walking Spondies

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A Canadian expat who has lived abroad in Asia since 2003, Carrie has been writing about her adventures in Asia since moving to Taiwan in 2006. She was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2009. Carrie joined the Walk Your AS Off community in 2014 with her Taiwan-based team, The Walking Spondies. She joined the Walk AS One Board of Directors in 2015.

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