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Arthritis Foundation Names Earl Campbell as the Hero of the Texas Walk to Cure Arthritis Series

Campbell’s Personal Experience Focuses on Impact of  Arthritis and Urges Texans to Join “Earl’s Dream Team”

Today, the Arthritis Foundation named the University of Texas and NFL Running Back Hall of Famer Earl Campbell as the 2014 Official Hero of the Texas Walk to Cure Arthritis Series. In his new role, Campbell will lend his support to the Arthritis Foundation’s statewide signature events to be held in Austin (4/26), D/FW (5/3), Houston (5/3) and San Antonio (5/17).  The Texas Walks will be four of more than 130 similar events across the nation in recognition of National Arthritis Month in May.  The Walks unite these major Texas cities to put an end to arthritis, a chronic disease that affects 53 million adults in the U.S., four million Texans and more than 25,000 children across the state. They also feature family festivities, food, entertainment, a pet-friendly environment and loads of fun! 

“Earl has a huge heart for Texas communities and it’s only fitting as one of the state’s leading sports legends that he join the Arthritis Foundation to help spread the word about the impact arthritis has on so many people by sharing his own personal experience,” said Susan Carter, Chief Executive Officer, Arthritis Foundation South Central Region.

Throughout his football career, Campbell was always known for his ability to sustain a hit. And while this led to amazing success - first as a linebacker in his early playing days and later as a running back at John Tyler High School, the University of Texas at Austin and the Houston Oilers - the punishment his body received on the football field ultimately took its toll.

Since retiring from football in 1985, Campbell has suffered from severe osteoarthritis in his knees, feet and back. He’s gone through more surgeries than he can count, including two knee replacements.

But he’s happy to report these days he isn’t sidelined by arthritis. Thanks to new medications and regular work outs in the UT weight room, Campbell has ditched his wheel chair and now has real hopes of playing nine holes of golf again.

“Arthritis is terribly misunderstood.  No one talks about it, and most just shrug it off as something inevitable that happens as they age.  We need people to understand the impact arthritis has on the young and old alike, and there’s no one better to command an ear than Earl Campbell,” saidCarter, “Earl has graciously agreed to step up and help us get the dialogue started.  He is a true hero in so many ways, but using his voice in this manner will impact the lives of thousands of people at risk for and living with arthritis.”  

Today, Campbell is thankful for greater mobility and wants to make sure no one is limited by arthritis, our nation’s number one cause of disability. That’s why he’s joined forces with the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis and formed EARL’S DREAM TEAM.


“Arthritis affects people of all ages from nine months to 90 years of age, and the debilitating symptoms are devastating," said Carter.  "We are encouraging everyone throughout the state of Texas to join EARL’S DREAM TEAM to help the millions of children and adults living in disabling pain.  And we invite those who live in and around Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio to sign up and participate in this year's Texas Walk to Cure Arthritis Series.”

According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are three simple ways for individuals to join EARL’S DREAM TEAM:

  1. Form your own team of family members, co-workers and friends as part of EARL’S DREAM TEAM, and fundraise to help find a cure and end the pain of arthritis.
  2. Join EARL’S DREAM TEAM as an individual and fundraise to help find a cure and end the pain of arthritis.
  3. Donate to EARL’S DREAM TEAM to help find a cure and end the pain of arthritis.

To join Earl’s Dream Team, or to learn more, register or make a donation online, visit:

Earl Campbell is an excellent source for a story about:
• Former athlete affected by arthritis
• The challenges of living with arthritis
• Turning around a challenging situation into something positive

About the Arthritis Foundation

Striking one in every five adults and 300,000 children, arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability. The Arthritis Foundation ( is committed to raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of this serious and painful disease, which can severely damage joints and rob people of living life to its fullest. The Foundation funds life-changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades; fights for health care policies that improve the lives of the millions who live with arthritis; and partners with families to provide empowering programs and information.







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Monday, February 24, 2014