LOS ANGELES – He is an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony award winner just to name a few. A legend in the world of film and stage, praised for his work over and over.
But Al Pacino is now being honored for a different reason; for his charitable giving and support of the Arthritis Foundation’s misson.
In this exclusive interview, Al Pacino spoke with CBS 2/KCAL 9’s Lisa Sigell before receiving the Arthritis Foundation’s Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award, not given to him for his body of work, but more importantly for a lifetime commitment to his charitable giving and support for the foundation’s mission to find a cure.
“It’s been around my life for a long time, its affected people in my family,” says Pacino during his speech.
Pacino rarely give interviews like this, many times supporting causes anonymously, but says if speaking out can help those with arthritis than it’s worth it.
“I don’t think people are aware of how it strikes children and how it manifests,” Pacino said.
300,000 children suffer from some sort of arthritis. One of the most common in kids is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA. It comes and goes, it is brutal, it can lead to blindness, and ultimately the inability to operate physically.
The Ryan family knows all to well what Pacino is talking about. Their 11-year-old daughter Caitlin has already had a hip replacement and has suffered from JRA all her life.
“I have to sit out of many school activities, my joints hurt, and sometimes it’s hard to walk in the morning,” says little Caitlin.
Renowned ophthalmologist Gary Holland, who shares in the Jane Wyman award, says “ultimately we will learn more about this disease and new treatments will develop and we will be able to prevent eye involvement all together.”