Natalie Decker, who has had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) since birth, has chosen the Arthritis Foundation as her charity of choice, announcing it on her social media channels and will again – in person to her fans – at the Homestead race on November 15, 2019. The fundraiser will run from October 1st through October 20th.
Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability, impacting 1 in 4 Americans including nearly 300,000 kids, and Natalie is calling all fans, friends and family to help take a stand against the disease and asking them to stand by her side by:
– Buying a spot on Natalie’s hood for the Homestead paint scheme. In addition to getting your name on the hood, the purchase includes multiple autographed items including a Lionel diecast of the Homestead truck, a limited edition T-Shirt, a personalized HERO car, a limited edition poster and the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life. (All items exclusive to fundraising promotion.)
“We are honored and excited for Natalie to stand by our side and inspire people with arthritis, especially kids in our community who need a leader to look up to,” said Sara Peterson, executive director of the Wisconsin division, Arthritis Foundation. “Natalie is not only asking others to get involved and support her but is also sharing her story to show the public the real side of living with the often invisible disease, arthritis.”
According to the Arthritis Foundation, one to two in every 1000 children are affected with the genetic condition. The real issue is that many times, there is no exterior visibility of the condition. Despite that lack of exterior visibility, it causes those affected to have the inability to move their joints at a time and leave it extremely hard to function through normal everyday activities.
“There are so many difficulties with the condition I have. When I was younger, one of the biggest things I struggled with was my arms would lock at a 45-degree angle, and I couldn’t get them all the way straight,” explains Decker. “Another big struggle was the methotrexate I had to take. This was a chemo drug, and when taken, it made me so sick. As a whole, the arthritis stunted my growth, amongst other things.”
Knowing the difficulties and being able to overcome them to get to her dreams, Decker is excited to be able to help others overcome the struggles she had.
“I’m so thankful the Arthritis Foundation gives people with arthritis the resources, local programs and support that people with arthritis need, so they can chase their dreams – like becoming a NASCAR driver – and live a full life. I was very nervous about sharing this for a long time. However, I am so happy I’m finally sharing my story to help and be an inspiration to others.”
All the proceeds from the fundraiser will help raise awareness and funds for the Arthritis Foundation’s mission of providing the resources and support – like JA Camps – for people and kids with arthritis, and ultimately finding a cure for the disease.. Additionally, after the race in Homestead, Natalie’s hood of her No. 54 DGR-Crosley Toyota Tundra will be auctioned off as well as her Fyshe Fire Suit from the race, Arai Helmet and race gloves.
Fans can buy their spot on Natalie’s hood for the Ford Ecoboost 200 at Homestead Miami-Speedway by visiting www.nataliedeckerinc.com/arthritis-foundation/. You can get a spot on the hood up until the deadline of October 20th. After that, you will still be able to take part in the auction and additional fundraising efforts that will be announced closer to the race.
“Thank you to all my amazing fans and those who take part in the fundraiser! Supporting this cause means so much to me, as it has been a big part of my whole life. We can make a serious impact in these children’s lives with your help!”
Go to NatalieDeckerInc.com to join Team Natalie Decker by donating to the Arthritis Foundation.