Christine Brosseau is all smiles and doesn't look the worse for wear as she is shown moments after completing a 5000 metre swim in 2 hours and 50 minutes on April 21, 2006 at the Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre. She swam a full 200 laps as part of the First Annual Foresters BIG Swim for Arthritis and was presented with a medal in honour of her accomplishment from Bob McOrmond, President of the Sudbury Shunia Branch #228.

The Foresters BIG Swim for Arthritis was the first event of its kind in Canada involving approximately 150 pools, from one coast, to another. This national swimming event is designed to increase awareness about the benefits of water-based activity for those with arthritis, and to raise funds for The Arthritis Society. The event took place in pools across the country from April 20 – 23, 2006. The Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre was the only place in Sudbury where the event was hosted locally.

Christine, who is a victim of rheumatoid arthritis, began swimming two years ago. She can often be found in the pool several hours a day, taking advantage of adult swims and public swimming sessions. 

Her goal was to complete the 5000 meters necessary to receive a “Gold  Medal” and to raise over $500 in pledges. She accomplished both objectives!

Andrea Lucas, seated on the left, is a Fund-Raising Assistant with the Arthritis Society. She and Mary-Lou Hussak, Manager of Regional Development for Northeastern Ontario, were on hand for the Foresters BIG Swim for Arthritis, handing out information brochures to visitors to the Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre during the event.

Standing in the photo, from the left, are Bob McOrmond, Anne Gervais, Facility Pool Operator, Pete Wilford, a participant who swam 2500 metres, and Pat McOrmond.

According to Mary-Lou, Arthritis doesn't seem to get as high a profile as some of the other diseases like Heart & Stroke and Cancer, but it is definitely a life-debilitating disease that afflicts a large segment of the population. In fact, statistics show that with a rate of 22.8% of the population of the Greater Sudbury Area being diagnosed with some form of arthritis, this is the 2nd highest region in Ontario with the disease. The provincial average is only 17%.

The Foresters have been in existence for over 126 years and have been established in Sudbury since 1972. They have a local membership of approximately 600, with a couple of dozen active members involved in numerous fund-raising events such as the BIG SWIM.

Christine Brosseau generated a great deal of publicity for the event in Valley East. She and her pet bird, Sammy, have been at the mall collecting pledges every Saturday for over a month. To see the other articles that have been written about Christine's quest, follow the links below:

Christine Brosseau Hopes To Set Personal Goal By Covering 200 Laps Of The Pool In Less Than Three Hours
Christine Brosseau Raises Money and Public Awareness About Arthritis

Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved
Valley East Today is published by
Infocom Canada Business Consultants Inc.