Fred Funk escorts Jacksonville resident to doctor as part of Stryker campaign


PGA Tour Champions golfer and Ponte Vedra Beach resident Fred Funk recently spent a day with the winner of Stryker’s “Get on the Bus” contest in Jacksonville promoting the importance of joint health.

Taking place Tuesday, July 17, Funk picked up Jacksonville resident and contest winner Carol Simpson in a Stryker-branded bus and escorted her on a few stops around town, including her doctor’s office to address her joint pain. Simpson has suffered from joint pain for years but avoided visiting an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss her options.

“A lot of people go through a lot of pain and keep putting things off,” Funk said. “She’s (Simpson) ready. She’s been through a lot of alternative stuff, and she’s pretty much ready for her knee. She just wants to get a little more information and become more excited about it than scared about it.”

Funk has become an ambassador for Stryker — a medical technology company — after he too struggled with joint pain during his playing career, which forced him to have his knee replaced in 2009.

“You can get your life back,” Funk said. “That’s the big message. … You don’t need to suffer with what they have out there now.”

The “Get on the Bus” contest encouraged Jacksonville residents with joint pain to take the first steps to a healthier lifestyle by sharing why they or their loved ones need extra encouragement to go to the doctor and learn about joint health. Funk is partnering with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis on the initiative. Bettis hosted a similar contest in Pittsburgh, and both athletes will come together in August to spend a day with the contest winner in New Jersey.

“I think it’s a great campaign,” Funk said. “It’s just trying to convince people to go see the doctor.”