2018 Jingle Bell Run Honorees

Dr. Elise Carlson
New Haven Rheumatology
Medical Honoree  

Dr. Elise Carlson is a board-certified Rheumatologist. She received her undergraduate degree with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Yale University and subsequently received her medical degree from the University of Connecticut. She completed her internship, residency, at the University of Connecticut and was Chief Medical Resident at John Dempsey Hospital at the University of Connecticut. She completed her fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Connecticut in 2003. She received multiple awards in her residency training for excellence in patient care and teaching.

Upon completion of her training, she joined New Haven Rheumatology and has been a practicing physician for 15 years. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale School of Medicine and spends time each year working with the Rheumatology fellows in training. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Services of the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. She is an active faculty member in the medical school program at Quinnipiac University and enjoys teaching and coordinating lectures on musculoskeletal disease for the second year medical students. She also enjoys teaching both medical students and residents in her office for outpatient Rheumatology electives. D. Carlson is honored to be recognized by the Arthritis Foundation as the Medical Honoree for 2018.

To support Elise and her team Joint Effort, please visit the team fundaraising page today!

Christen Alberino
Psoriatic Arthritis
Adult Honoree  

Christen is a gym person. She loves to lift weights and push herself. In October of 2015, she started to experience very bad pain in her wrists, hands and feet and although she would still go to the gym for her scheduled personal trainer appointments three times a week, she realized she could hardly lift a 35lb weight, let alone a 10lb weight. It was so painful.

Christen’s primary doctor who did several blood tests to see what was wrong and when nothing crazy showed up, not even lyme disease, which he thought may be the case, he suggested she see a rheumatologist. It was the rheumatologist who diagnosed Christen with rheumatoid arthritis.

The next 6-9 months were a downward spiral of weight gain, pain, swelling and not even being able to walk some days. Her feet would swell so much that the bones would disappear, making her foot and ankle into one! She tried three different medications, and Celebrex and Tramadol for pain. Nothing really worked. But she was determined to move on with her day and not let the disease keep her from her career goals.

After one particular month of being in extreme pain and not being offered any alternatives from her doctor at the time, she decided to see Dr. Carlson in March of 2017.

During the appointment after asking her questions and doing more blood tests, she suggested a biologic, which Christen’s last doctor refused to use. She also diagnosed her with psoriatic arthritis.

Christen went on Enbrel, which was hard at first to give herself a shot, but once she got the hang of it, it was a piece of cake. Now, after a full year of being on Enbrel, Christen feels amazing. She is thankful to Dr. Carlson for being so attentive and listening.

Christen wants people to know that there is hope out there, and to keep trying, and not give up!

To support Christen, please visit her fundaraising page today!


Tea Radday
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree  

Tea first showed signs of arthritis in August 2015, when she was just six years old. While on a family vacation to the beach she complained of pain in her knee. Her parents didn’t think much of it and for a few weeks they thought she had an injury or Lyme’s disease. Fortunately, she had a pediatrician who ran blood tests and noticed that she had some markers for juvenile arthritis. By October 2015 Tea had an official diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Oligoarticular Type, which means it affects four or fewer joints. Since her original diagnosis the arthritis is now in both knees.

Over the past three years Tea has had a range of treatments from oral medication to weekly injections to her current regimen of an IV infusion once every six weeks. In addition to her rheumatologist Tea also visits an ophthalmologist every three months to ensure that her eyes are not impacted by this disease. She is so brave during all of her treatments and tests. There are never any tears; she just grins and bears it all.

Despite her pain, Tea continues to enjoy life as a nine year old girl. She dances, does gymnastics, swims, plays with her sister and friends, and runs around with the family dog, Aloe.

To support Tea, please visit her fundaraising page today!


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