2018 Jingle Bell Run Honorees


Christina Downey, MD RhMSUS
Medical Honoree

Christina Downey, MD RhMSUS completed her residency in Internal Medicine at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, followed by her Rheumatology fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Since completing her fellowship, she has entered a full-time assistant professorship at Loma Linda Medical Center (LLUMC) where she is a practicing rheumatologist and has a clinical and research interest in myositis and early inflammatory arthritis. She currently has a busy clinic at the LLUMC Faculty Medical Offices, where she is also the Director of Clinical Operations in Rheumatology and Quality Improvement. Dr. Downey is also a member of the American College of Rheumatology Government Affairs Committee.

She has been an active voice for her patients in Washington DC and enjoys teaching fellow rheumatologists about advocacy and how to get involved at all levels of government. In her time away from work Dr. Downey is an avid chef, yogi, runner, hiker, traveler and ocean explorer. 

Join Christina Downey in the fight against arthritis or join her team today!

Vaneet K. Sandhu, MD FACR
Medical Honoree

Vaneet K Sandhu, MD FACR, completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) followed by her Rheumatology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Since completing her fellowship, she has entered a full-time faculty position at LLUMC where she is a practicing rheumatologist and has a clinical and research interest in health services and health disparities research.

She currently runs the Lupus clinic at both LLUMC and Riverside University Health System, where she is also the Director of Clinical Operations in Rheumatology. Dr. Sandhu is also a Councilor for the Western American Federation for Medical Research as well as a member of the ACR Committee on Communications and Marketing, and Physician Ambassador for ACR Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month (RDAM).

Join Vaneet Sandhu in the fight against arthritis or join her team today!

Dave Van Winkle
Monster Energy Company
Corporate Honoree

Dave is a California native. He attended Northwestern University in Chicago where he was a student athlete playing baseball. Upon graduation, he was drafter by the Chicago White Sox and spent 3 years playing in the minor leagues for both the White Sox and Angels organizations. After baseball, he started working in the food industry as a Sales Rep and finds himself still working in the food industry today with Monster Energy.

Dave’s youngest daughter of three, Audrey, was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2014, at the age of 9. In 2015, Audrey was the Youth Honoree for the Jingle Bell Run. It was through this experience that the Van Winkle Family learned of the important & necessary work the Arthritis Foundation has been doing in the communities they serve & how much more is needed to help the AF expand their reach & resources to improve people’s lives, discover new treatments, & delivery a cure “yesterday”! The Van Winkle’s have been actively involved in the JBR rallying around Audrey’s Angels every year since 2015 & are back this year to help set OCIE on a course to be the BIGGEST Jingle Bell Run in the US by 2020.

Support me or Joint my team: Team Audaryusz!

Jim Lukowski
Monster Energy Company
Corporate Honoree

Jim is a native New Englander. He is a rabid New England sports fan with an affinity for football & baseball. Jim’s passion for sports & interscholastic competition brought him back to his Connecticut roots.  Jim attended Wesleyan University in Middletown. He was fortunate enough to play 4 years of football & baseball.
Jim is married to Melissa & have 2 beautiful children; Dariusz age 13 and Anneke age 9. Both are passionate baseball & softball players respectively. “It was through an innocent work conversation with Dave, friend & co-worker, that I suspected Dariusz might also be afflicted with AS. Dave immediately contacted colleagues at the Arthritis Foundation who went to work on our behalf. They set us up with Pediatric Rheumatologist, Dr. Andrew Shulman.  Within 30 days, our son Dariusz was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Dariusz is extremely active & currently pain free. This relationship has been a true blessing & his treatment plan is working.”

Support me at or join my team: Team Audaryusz

Mackenzie van Waveren
Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree

5-year old Mackenzie was born on New Year’s Day in 2013.  When other kids were taking their first steps, we were dealing with finding a diagnosis and painful procedures.  At 11 months old she was using her push toy with a limp and could not straighten her right knee.  After a misdiagnosis of a toddler fracture of her shin bone, she had to wait 3 months to be seen at CHOC by a pediatric rheumatologist.  At 14 months of age, Mackenzie was diagnosed with Oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis of the knee.  She was administered her first steroid injection under sedation and had to undergo numerous blood draws.  All parents know how hard it is to hold an infant down to administer injections. After the cortisone injections, she underwent several stretch casts which consisted of the technicians forcibly straightening her leg while the cast dried.  She had several casts to get her knee extension back to normal.

Mackenzie is currently in remission although she has had arthritis recurrences since her diagnosis. She has worked super hard during her weekly physical therapy sessions to strengthen her leg, many blood draws to count.

Mackenzie would tell you she “doesn’t like having arthritis in her knee and wishes she had not been born with it.”

Join Mackenzie in the fight against arthritis or join her team today!


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