Over the River Run Vicksburg walker suffering from rheumatoid arthritis completes 5-miler

Published 12:05 am Sunday, October 10, 2010

As Gwen Green started down the ramp Saturday morning toward the old U.S. 80 bridge, she was quickly passed by other walkers in the 22nd annual Over the River Run.

No matter. Green, a veteran of a number of organized walks around the city, is used to being lapped. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and sets her own pace, her only goal is to be out there walking.

“It’s just your willpower — what you want out of life,” said Green, 47. “I could sit around and do nothing, but I like to stay busy and active.”

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The Vicksburg native, a tax-preparer and substitute teacher, has had RA for 10 years. The chronic disease causes joint inflammation and swelling, muscle aches and weakness. As it progresses it causes loss of mobility, makes working difficult and can affect internal organs.