Jim Calhoun’s St. Joseph Blue Jays won’t be able to play any games until at least January this season. In the meantime, the hall of fame head coach is using his offseason to raise awareness for the Connecticut Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.
Calhoun will be honored during the foundation’s virtual gala on October 9th.
54 million Americans are affected by arthritis, including 300,000 young people. Calhoun deals with it as well and he knows the importance of supporting resources that prevent, control and cure America’s leading cause of disability.
“So many people that need help and we can do something about it,” said Calhoun. “There’s a lot of mysteries and so many other medicines that everybody else is working hard to cure. This is something that we can do something about so it’s a great honor for me and I’m very, very humbled by it but I want to have all the folks do the best they can to try to help us out here.”
Board Chair of the Connecticut chapter of the Arthritis Foundation Rob Kimble points out that the added stress of the pandemic makes it more difficult for people dealing with arthritis.
“People who have chronic pain arthritis, when they’re under a great of stress and anxiety, it raises their pain level up to 25% so again there’s more of a sense of urgency now,” said Kimble.
Donations during the virtual gala will provide fellowships to encourage doctors to get into rheumatology and help fund a variety of other efforts.
“What this will do is, the money will go towards research, advocacy, support groups, camps for kids with juvenile arthritis, so there’s a lot of things that we have to accomplish,” said Kimble.
More information on the Connecticut Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and this year’s virtual gala can be found here.