"National Fibromyalgia Association Announces Winner of National Essay Contest"
Contact: Corin Walson
National Fibromyalgia Association Announces Winner of National Essay Contest
Vancouver Woman "walks to Disneyland" as part of double 50th birthday celebration
ORANGE, Calif---Carol Guthrie of Port Coquitlam, B.C. (30 miles east of Vancouver), is the winner of a national essay contest sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), the largest nonprofit (501c3) organization for people with fibromyalgia and publisher of Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine.
Guthrie’s winning essay described a year-long 1,200 mile walking program "From Canada to California" which helped to manage her fibromyalgia symptoms and also lose 40 pounds in time for her 50th birthday. The former banker plans to celebrate her milestone at Disneyland to coincide with the amusement park’s own 50th year in operation on July 17.
"I didn’t want to be fat at 50!"
In keeping with the NFA’s essay theme which asked contestants to describe how to "Be Aware! Be Active!" while living with fibromyalgia, Guthrie, who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1998, wrote about learning that proper diet and increased activity levels were among the best ways to treat her fibromyalgia symptoms. That, combined with her desire not to celebrate her fiftieth birthday (July 15, 2005) as an overweight person, inspired her to start a walking regime and track her daily steps on a pedometer.
As an incentive, Guthrie converted her steps into miles and, with the help of printed maps, charted the course of a 1,200-mile trek. Guthrie earmarked 1,200 miles because it is the approximate distance from her home in Coquitlam to Anaheim, California’s Disneyland. Every step she walked around her hometown took her one metaphorical step closer to Disneyland. (At the time of her essay submission in May, Guthrie wrote, "As of today, I’m 20 miles from the Oregon border and have lost 23.2 pounds!")
As a reward for meeting her goal of walking 1,200 miles, Guthrie planned to celebrate her 50th birthday by coming to California and visiting Disneyland on July 15, the day of her birthday. Since Disneyland is also celebrating its 50th birthday (officially on July 17, 2005, two days after Guthrie’s 50th birthday), Guthrie said the walk "from Canada to California" was the "perfect incentive" for her road to wellness.
"I just really love Disneyland!" said Guthrie, who has visited the amusement park 13 times during her lifetime. "My life is finally getting back on track with the exercise and other treatments for my fibromyalgia symptoms. What a great way to celebrate my 50th birthday!"
TWO FREE TICKETS
"Carol’s personal story is just what we were looking for to help promote the benefits of exercise and physical activity when it comes to treating fibromyalgia symptoms," said Lynne Matallana, president and founder of the National Fibromyalgia Association. "We realize that not everyone will have the same amazing results as Carol, of course, but this goes to show how a good support system and a positive outlook can really help people with fibromyalgia."
As part of her contest winnings, the National Fibromyalgia Association will award Guthrie with 2 free tickets to Disneyland.
Guthrie’s essay was published in the NFA’s online newsletter.
For interview requests with Carol Guthrie, please call Corin Walson at the National Fibromyalgia Association at 714-921-0150.