Empower Personal Training is hosting its first annual Fitness Fair on Saturday, April 18 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis in loving memory of our client and friend Joanne Roberts. The Fitness Fair will feature fitness activities for the whole family including Durham’s Biggest Boot Camp, a Train-the-Trainer event, massage demos, smoothie tastings, allied health vendors, fun activities for the kids, live music, door prizes and more.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often-disabling disease of the central nervous system that strikes people in the prime of life. There are more than 4,500 people living with MS in Eastern North Carolina and more than 400,000 nationally. MS affects each person differently and often stops people from moving. Our goal is to “empower” the larger community to get involved in health and wellness all while raising money for this important charity.
Joanne was diagnosed with MS in the 1991 and despite the debilitating effects of the disease she remained very active with her family, in her community and with her work. She always wore a smiling face and was more interested in checking on you than talking about her personal struggles.
Joanne passed away on November 1, 2008 from complications of Multiple Sclerosis. She was a senior scientist, professor of speech and hearing sciences, and a research professor of pediatrics at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was one of the most prolific researchers at the institute, with more than 125 publications in scholarly journals. At her death, Joanne was at the peak of her career, held in highest esteem by her colleagues.
The most important part of Joanne’s life was her family – her husband Barry and her two sons Justin and Matthew. Joanne’s personal strength and devotion showed through in both her work and family life. Her passing leaves a void that will not easily be filled.