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Thread: Reese Witherspoon goes home to accept award

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    Default Reese Witherspoon goes home to accept award

    10-21-2005-Reese Witherspoon visits hometown to accept award

    Nashville native Reese Witherspoon may be a box-office smash, but the actress' starring role these days is as devoted daughter.

    "You know, I'm very busy," said Reese. "But I'm always happy to do stuff for my family and friends; particularly my mother, who is so incredibly selfless."

    The Witherspoon family's dark secret is unfortunately is all too common. Reese's mother has suffered from arthritis for 20 years.

    "A lot of people, I"ll say, 'My mother has arthritis,' and people say, 'Oh yeah, my mother has arthritis too. She takes some aspirin and it feels better.' But my mother unfortunately has the kind of arthritis that is very debilitating," said Reese.

    The Arthritis Foundation of Tennessee is honoring the actress and her mother for raising money and awareness.

    "It's a disease that is sometimes invisible to the general public and people don't realize the pain that someone might be in, having internally," said Arthritis Foundation spokesperson Tina Major.

    "There are hard days, there are hard days," said Reese's mother Betty Witherspoon. "there's a lot of pain, a lot of fatigue, but you have to go on."

    It's the kind of pain that can make can make a simple handshake impossible. This disease affects one in three adults, as well as some 300,000 children, and comes in at least 100 forms.

    "You know, most of us at some point will be affected by arthritis," said Reese.

    But most of us can't spread the word quite like Reese Witherspoon. Even as she prepares for the release of her new movie, "Walk the Line", this actress walks the line herself - juggling a busy career and motherhood. She says to get ready for her for her upcoming role as June Carter Cash, she made a point of meeting her son.

    "I just felt it was really important that if you're going to play somebody's mother, that you look them in the eye and say, 'I honor your mother," said Reese. "And I feel like she's a wonderful lady and I'm going to do the best job I can."

    Tuesday night's event honoring the Witherspoons is an annual fundraiser that so far has raised some $3 million.

    Victoria Hansen for News 2 at 10 pm

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    That's admirable, but I've never once heard that Reese was linked to any arthritis foundation. Maybe they gave her an award to bring awareness to their group.

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