2018 Jingle Bell Run Honorees

Cole Knudsen
Quaker Oats
Corporate Chair

Currently, Cole is a busy family man with two young children and, also the Site Director for the Quaker Oats production plant in Columbia. Cole graduated from Kansas State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and since joining Quaker Oats in 2006 has held a variety of positions. Though Cole has a technical background, his passion lies in building high-functioning teams, developing future leaders, and supporting the success of others.

Within PepsiCo, diversity & engagement is core to the company’s values, with one major component being supporting the success of those with differing abilities. This has given Cole the opportunity to partner with the Arthritis Foundation and provide education and available resources directly to the employees regarding arthritis.

Cole’s father, David, has always been a positive example in his life – teaching him the importance of putting full effort and hard work in whatever you do. As Cole was growing up in rural Kansas, he developed a strong work ethic from that guidance as he worked for local farmers and business owners. His father is now dealing with arthritis in his hands, which is limiting to him. Seeing this in his father motivates him to learn more about the disease and how he too can be an advocate for treatments and resources. 

Join Cole in leading the fight to find a cure, register or donate today!

Emma Claunch
Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree

Emma is a vibrant 9-year old who tries not to let arthritis keep her from having fun and doing the activities she enjoys including ballet, jazz, aikido and playing with her friends. When Emma was diagnosed at 3 years old, her future wasn’t so certain. While helping Emma put on her shoes, her mom noticed her left knee was swollen. At the doctor’s office, her pediatrician suspected that it was arthritis. Knowing the threat arthritis poses to the eyes, she made an eye appointment for Emma the following week and referred her to a pediatric rheumatologist to confirm the diagnosis.

Emma has oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis which has affected her body from head to toe. From pain and swelling in her toes, ankles, knees, and fingers to uveitis in her eyes and inflammation in her jaw. For the last couple of years, she has had regular MRIs to monitor joint damage caused by arthritis in her jaw.

Although Emma’s symptoms are now mostly controlled with medicine, she must endure a shot that she gets in her stomach every other week. The medicine also weakens her immune system and makes it impossible for her to get some vaccines. She gets blood panel to make sure the medicine isn’t negatively affecting her body. Emma has learned to endure all these challenges with strength and a positive attitude. 

Join Emma's fight against arthritis, register or donate today!

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