[Announcement] Welcome Our Two Newest Board Members

You may remember our recent call for application submissions for new members of our board of directors. We were overwhelmed by your responses and the shortlist of applicants were tough to choose from. But we are very pleased to welcome four people to the Walk AS One family. Please join us in welcoming the two newest members of the board of directors, Christina Lowe, and Victoria Greenberg. We are also excited about welcoming the very first medical advisory board member: Adrienne Taren. And last but not least. Please welcome Angela Boswell, who has joined the volunteer committee.

Here’s a little about each of them:

Christina is a stay-at-home baseball mom, who loves a good book. She also loves to write, knit, crochet and is a keen quilter (when her hands allow it.) She’s an active AS advocate and took on the responsibility as co-captain of the Blue Apples in last years Walk Your AS Off. Since then she decided to devote her time “helping others who are struggling to overcome the obstacles this disease leaves us with.”

Victoria is a paralegal based in New Jersey who is passionate about raising the global awareness of AS. Victoria brings valuable insights to the team as a family member of someone with AS. Her brother, and our hero, Micheal Smith was a passionate AS advocate, and Victoria is helping to carry on his legacy.

Adrienne has captained the WYASO team “Endurance for AS” since 2014. She earned an MD and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh-Carnegie Mellon University Medical Scientist Training Program and is currently a resident physician with a research program focusing on the effects of stress and stress reduction interventions (such as mindfulness training) on brain structure and function. In her spare time, she can be found riding a bike (or five) through the gravel hills of Oklahoma.

Angela is a former EMT who battled to help others despite her AS diagnosis. She is passionate about educating medical professionals about AS and it’s related diseases.

As excited as we are to grow our Walk AS One family, with the addition of Christina and Victoria, we are saddened to see Carrie Kellenberger and Adam Wolfe go. They have both given so much towards raising awareness, and we feel extremely honored to have worked with them over the last 2+ years. They are both moving onto pastures new and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors. One thing we are sure of is that they’ll be walking their AS off, no matter what challenges they face. From all of us here at Walk AS One — Thank you.

Support Walk AS One this Giving Tuesday

This time of year is busy, especially for those of you that live in the United States. With Thanksgiving and Black Friday this week, we know you’ll be exhausted, and probably broke. But it’s the time of year where we can reflect on the things we are thankful for, like our friends and family, and hopefully the rest of the Ankylosing Spondylitis community, too?

Giving Tuesday (or #GivingTuesday) is a global giving movement to help support and raise awareness for the things you believe in the most.

Like you, we are passionate about raising the global awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis. So together, let’s do something amazing. 

This year Facebook has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who will be matching the donations to nonprofits, like us, that are made through Facebook. They have put up a staggering $2 million to match your donations, with each nonprofit being capped at $50,000. So for every dollar we raise for Walk AS One on Tuesday the 28th of November, they will match it dollar for dollar! Not only that, but Facebook will be waving all fees that day, so Walk AS One will get every single cent!

Even if you’re all spent up after the amazing Black Friday sales, you can still help us in two ways.

  1. You can share our Walk AS One page and donation button to your social media friends, and encourage them to donate, with the knowledge their donation will be double at no extra cost to them.
  2. You can put your own donation button on your Facebook posts on #GivingTuesday, selecting Walk AS One as your charity of choice (more on how to do this below.)

If you have any questions about #GivingTuesday on Facebook you can check out their post here.

Help us to help you raise awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis, and get the cure we are all so desperately after.

How to add your own donate button

Adding your own donation button couldn’t be easier. Just follow the simple steps below and you’ll be all set. Just remember, do this on Tuesday the 28th. While any money raised before will be very much appreciated, it will not be eligible for the matching program. If you have any questions, ask in the comments below or send us an email.

  1. Visit Facebook.com/fundraisers, click “Raise Money.”
  2. Click “Charity,” and then search for Walk AS One.
  3. Input your goal amount (dream big.)
  4. Answer the question to let people know why you are fundraising for us.
  5. Share with your friends. Simple!

Walk AS One 2018 Calendar — Art Submission Guidelines

You may have already heard that we are planning to create a 2018 calendar. We would love for you to be a part of it. We are looking for an original piece of art for each month of the year to highlight our togetherness and unity. So we are asking for you, a member of the community, to enter our contest by submitting an original piece of artwork which may appear on one of the calendar months. Winners will be chosen by a select committee. Please scroll down to read the full details as well as the terms and conditions.

The deadline for submissions is: October 22nd.


Theme: Togetherness/Unity

General Guidelines:

  • Each person may submit a maximum of 3 entries.
  • This contest is open to everyone.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Art must be the sole and original work of the contestant and not copied in whole or in part from any other work.
  • Digital image(s) may be submitted as .tiff or .jpeg format, 300 dpi at least.
  • Submissions will not be returned.

Image Size: Your art must be in landscape form and 8.5” x 11”

Submitting Via Email:
Email us with “Your Name: Calendar Artist Submission” in the subject line to info@walkasone.org. Attach a scan or digital copy of your art. Image resolution should be 300dpi. Please attach a .doc or PDF with the following information: Name, name of your art piece, address, and phone number, the reason you entered your art, your relationship to A.S, and a description of your art.

Original Art Work:
By submitting art to us, you are acknowledging that your art is original and created by yourself. Although art can be inspired by many sources, it is imperative that your artwork is original and not copied from another source.

Ownership of Your Art:
By submitting to this calendar, you are agreeing the non-profit Walk AS One has assumed the rights of your work and can use it in the 2018 calendar and for other promotional avenues. You will receive credit in the calendar for your work.

Format of work:
All images must be submitted in digital format. Submit a non-returnable representation of your work. Take a digital photo or scan your art via a copier or scanner.

Return of Images:
Walk AS One reserves the right to destroy all images submitted on digital media upon distribution of the year 2018 calendars and other products.

Quality of images:
Submit high quality images. File resolution should be 300dpi to reproduce well in the printing world.

What does that mean? Here are some examples of pixel dimensions & file sizes and how they translate to an 8×10 print (the size of the calendar page).

– Best Quality: File size 19MB (19,000KB) // Pixel dimensions: approx 7,300 x 5414. Images this size are usually taken from cameras with 10 megapixels & higher resolution. It’s more than we need to reproduce well. Bigger is better!

– Good: File size 1MG-3MB, 1,000-3,000KB) // Pixel dimensions: approx 2000 x 1500. Images this size will reproduce at 8×10 with good quality detail. Usually around 2 megapixels.

– Barely Acceptable: File size 600KB // Pixel dimensions: approx 1014 x 768. Images this size will show pixilation (the photo will have a “blocky” look especially when viewed up close. Depending on the subject matter, it may be very noticeable.) Photos submitted at this size are borderline, and many of them will not reproduce well. (Generally, these photos are either taken from a social media program such as Facebook or Instagram, or taken from a phone on a low resolution setting.) Sending a photo as a text message drastically reduces the resolution. These files are almost always too small to print.



Terms & Conditions

Ownership/grant of rights
Grant of Rights: With respect to the images submitted by you and chosen by Walk AS One, you grant to WASO the worldwide right and license to use the chosen images on a non-exclusive basis in connection with the manufacture, publication, distribution, promotion, advertisement and sale of year 2018 calendars and other products (hereinafter referred to as “other products or other product”) in format for the duration of our publication, distribution, promotion, advertisement and sale of year 2018 calendars and of the other products. This right and license includes market editions of a WASO imprint that use the same images, yet may have a slightly different title and different cover image. Other market editions include language editions and “resized” mass-market editions. This right and license also includes the right to make such editorial changes to the images, as WASO deems appropriate in the exercise of its sole discretion

Message from our President

Hello to all!

There is so much going on with us here at Walk AS One! As many of you are aware the board had an excellent meeting/retreat in Maine at my parents home on the island of Vinalhaven. Being face to face and setting aside a couple of days of meetings was so fantastic for us and an opportunity to really strategize and plan out this very important next year. We wish Cookie Hopper, Carrie Kellenberger, and Adam Wolfe had been able to join us – we missed them – but hopefully next time!

Christina Lowe

You may have noticed our increased presence on social media recently. Each board member has an assigned day of the week that we now post and we’ve brought in Christina Lowe, co-captain of my WYASO team The Blue Apples, as additional volunteer social media help. She is a superstar at it and we are thrilled to add her to our core volunteers. Please make sure you are following us on our Walk AS One and Walk Your AS Off Facebook pages, Twitter account, and Instagram to find out the latest about us and happenings worldwide about Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Karen Fitch

Karen Fitch has also stepped up yet again to help us and is working with Heather Stewart on a calendar we are working to have ready for Christmas that will be filled with artwork from the community! Thank you so much Karen for all that you do for Walk AS One, we all adore you! We are always looking for more core volunteer staff so please reach out to any of us if you are interested. We need people who can dedicate a few hours a week for graphics, blog and clinical writing, PR (huge need), technical website help, and some administrative tasks as well. We are an ALL volunteer organization – everyone working to grow Walk AS One does so on this basis.

I would like to extend a farewell and big thank you to Debbie Cook who was the Chief Executive at NASS – National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society for just over 6 years. NASS serves the AS community in Great Britain and around the globe. Debbie did such a fantastic job connecting with the community and being involved with projects like ours. These types of community and personal connections mean a lot to all of us and she will be greatly missed.

Debbie Cook

I’d also love to share that Boston University Global App Initiative has selected us this year to help us develop an app! This is huge news for us as this is a service they provide at no charge to non-profits. The app should be ready in April 2018 just in time for WYASO 2018! It is our great hope that this will be the start of making the walk and step reporting available and easier for more and more people.

Please check out our calendar of upcoming events. We’re doing a fun challenge for October and World Arthritis Day – the One Week, One Mile, One Dollar challenge and for those creatively inclined we are asking for art submissions for the calendar I mentioned above. More information will be posted soon on this but get those creative juices flowing! We believe each calendar will be about $25 and will be filled with your artwork and tidbits of information about AS and the greater global community.

Finally I’d like to thank everyone who recently took the time to fill out our community survey. We started Walk AS One for all of you and it is so important to us to know how we’re doing and what we can do to serve you better in the future.

I want you all to know I’m always available for questions, comments or support. Please feel free to email me at jennifer.visscher@walkasone.org and I will get back in touch with you asap. That’s it for now – we’re excited for a great fall and for ushering in a super 2018. Thank you to every walker, supporter, donor, and all of the AS community worldwide for being on this journey with us. Until next time…

Stand Tall and Walk Proud!

Announcement: Please welcome our two new board members.

Walk AS One is excited to announce the addition of two new board members. With immediate effect, Michelle Andrews will be taking on the role of Treasurer, and Cookie Hopper will be our Community Outreach Director.

Michelle Andrews is a Business Systems Analyst for the State of Maine and holds a BA in accounting from the University of Maine. She has been actively involved with the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) as a Support Group Leader in Maine since 2006. Her role included organizing events and activities, along with attending the SAA leadership conference in Los Angeles in 2007. Michelle is a mother of three loving children. During her time off of work she enjoys tracing her heritage and genealogy and has authored several family history books, as well.

Cookie Hopper is the creator of The Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis and The Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis Information Board. Cookie has single-handedly gathered 1754 individual “faces” or people with AS together to share their stories of being diagnosed and living with this disease and won’t stop until she hits the goal of 2700 people! Cookie was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2002, but didn’t become an active participant in the Ankylosing Spondylitis community until 2011. She participates in Walk Your AS Off under the “We’ve Got Your Back! For Fighting For Ankylosing Spondylitis” team. Cookie is also a business owner of a company in the Houston, Texas area that she and her husband started on a shoestring in 1999. She is loved not only by the AS Community, but by her local surrounding towns for the hands on personal touch she has brought to her customers as well as the charity work she provides locally.

In Cookie’s own words, “The main reason I wanted to be a part of this organization is because of the message it’s trying to share with the community, not only with words but by example. These individuals have decided to take on the challenges of Ankylosing Spondylitis in a straightforward manner and live their lives to the best of their ability. That is what appealed to me the most. It’s not about how many steps you take or goals you make; it’s about learning to accept that your BEST is YOUR best. In a world that demands perfection, it’s wonderful to be part of something that reminds me that my best is perfect enough, no matter how society or others see it. No excuses, no apologies, no guilt, no regrets. Your best is as good as anyone else’s. Period.”

All of us at Walk AS One feel extremely fortunate to welcome our two newest board members. We are confident that they will be extremely valuable members of our all volunteer organization, helping us to make 2017 the best year yet for Walk AS One and Walk your AS Off.

It’s Official!


It is our pleasure to inform you that Walk AS One has received the determination letter granting 501c3 status. This means donations are now  tax deductible (for residents of  the United States). Non-profit status opens up a lot of doors for us. We can now do things we have planned, so that we can serve you, the Ankylosing Spondylitis community. This means more awareness, more of a global community voice, and potentially more research.

This has been a long time coming and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given their time to help us achieve everything we have done so far. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We’d also like to thank everyone who bid on items in our (not so) silent auction. We are very pleased with the support and the kindness shown by everyone who donated and bid on items. If you won an item and haven’t received payment instruction yet, please let us know by emailing info@walkasone.org.

What next?

We are already busy making plans for the 2017 Walk Your AS Off awareness event. If you have any feedback or suggestions of how we can make 2017 the best one yet, we’d love to hear from you. Your feedback is very important to us, so please don’t hesitate in having your say. All correspondence can be sent to info@walkasone.org. Or you can write to us at Walk AS One, P.O. Box 6003, Falmouth, Maine 04105.

We believe in you!

You, yes you right there, are the reason we do all of this. You inspire us to want to do more. But to do more we also need your help. Walk AS One is an all-volunteer organization. No one is paid a single penny or cent for their time. In order to ‘reach for the stars’ and achieve everything we all want to, we need your help. More specifically, we need your time. We would love to have you as a volunteer if you think you can spare any time whatsoever. It can be an hour a week, or an hour month. The amount does not matter; what matters is your drive to help the AS community. If you’d like to volunteer let us know your skills and what you are willing to help us with, as well as the amount of time you can spare. As you’ve probably guessed, to do so all you need to do is email us at info@walkasone.org.

Here’s to our future, together! Happy stepping.