Mike Weir takes a swing for arthritis

October 20, 2014

Canadian golf icon and ALEVE® spokesperson encourages Canadians to break free from their pain

TORONTO -- Eight-time PGA Tour winner Mike Weir was in Toronto today to talk about breaking free from the pain of arthritis.

In partnership with ALEVE and The Arthritis Society, Weir shared his own story that took him from the top of his game to one of the most challenging periods of his life. After a 2011 golfing accident led to an elbow injury that later developed into arthritis, Weir’s career came to an abrupt halt and, unable to do what he loved, he experienced physical, mental and emotional hardship.

“As a competitive athlete, performing well means everything, so when I was forced out of the game for surgery and recovery, I began looking for ways to manage my pain,” said Weir, who presented a $35,000 donation on behalf of the Mike Weir Foundation to support the work of The Arthritis Society.

The new ALEVE spokesperson, now back in the game after a long road to recovery and making headlines, wants to share his story in hopes of inspiring fellow Canadians who live with arthritis to break free from their own pain. Weir took a few swings with guests to demonstrate correct golf techniques that mitigate injury and provided tips on proper pain management, reinforcing that arthritis sufferers must stay active.

“I found that committing to an exercise routine has helped me decrease my arthritis pain, while increasing my overall fitness and flexibility, which ultimately improved my state of mind,“ said Weir. “I learned to manage my own pain through exercise and medication.”

“We’re incredibly proud to be partnering with a Canadian golf icon, Mike Weir, who’s showing Canadians that they can manage and combat their pain caused by arthritis through exercise and proper medication,” said Elizabeth Beemer, Head Bayer Consumer Care. “Together with The Arthritis Society, ALEVE is helping raise awareness of the disease by supporting Erase the Pain, The Arthritis Society’s $25 million campaign funding arthritis research.”

Arthritis can strike anyone at anytime, regardless of age or physical condition, often with devastating and debilitating effects.i The main symptoms of arthritis are chronic joint pain, stiffness and swelling, which can result in significant disability and poor quality of life.ii

“There are 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis, each with theirown story of how they manage pain,“ said Janet Yale, president and CEO, The Arthritis Society. “Mike is setting a great example for all of us about perserverance, self-empowerment and the benefits of staying active. We are proud to have Mike speak out, inspire and raise awareness of the diease that touches so many.”

By 2036 it is expected that the number of Canadians living with arthritis will grow from 4.6 million adults to 7.5 million – or one in five.iii Within a generation there will be a new diagnosis of osteoarthritis in Canada every 60 seconds.iv

For more information on ALEVE and managing your arthritis pain, visit Aleve.ca. For more information about arthritis or supporting the work of The Arthritis Society, visit arthritis.ca.

About Bayer Inc. 
Bayer Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Bayer AG and the corporate headquarters for the Canadian operations.  Founded in 1863, Bayer AG is an international research-based group with core businesses in healthcare, crop science and innovative materials committed to creating a better life for all through science.

In Canada, Bayer operates its healthcare business – Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Animal Health and Radiology & Interventional – from its headquarters in Toronto, ON, and Bayer CropScience Inc. operates out of its head office in Calgary, AB. Together with its material science business, Bayer improves the quality of life for Canadians through products that fight disease, protect crops and animals, and provide high-performance materials for numerous daily life uses.

With more than 1,300 employees across the country, in 2013, Bayer had sales of $1.6 billion and invested $61 million in research and development in Canada. Globally, Bayer AG had sales of €40.2 billion and invested €3.2 billion in research and development. For more information about Bayer, please visit www.bayer.ca.

About The Arthritis Society 
The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis.

Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non‐government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing more than $190 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information and to make a donation, visit www.arthritis.ca.

About The Mike Weir Foundation 
The Mike Weir Foundation was established in 2004 to advance the physical, emotional and educational welfare of children in Canada. Since inception and through the support of our generous sponsors and donors we are proud to report that over $7 million has been raised for children's wellness with over $4 million of support being provided for children's health care and related causes.

 

i) Arthritis Canada Facts and Figures, http://www.arthritis.ca/facts, updated March 2014. 
ii) Arthritis Canada Facts and Figures, http://www.arthritis.ca/facts, updated March 2014. 
iii) Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit (ACREU): Arthritis in Canada (Prepared for The Arthritis Society, 2013) 4. 
iv) Arthritis Alliance of Canada, The Impact of Arthritis in Canada: Today and Over the Next 30 Years (Fall 2011), 12.