2018 Jingle Bell Run Honorees

Rebecca Muntean, MD
Medical Honoree

Dr. Muntean's love for rheumatology started early in life. Her mother was diagnosed with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis in her early 20s. There weren’t many available treatments at that time, and she struggled with active disease for years, until about 20 years ago, when the treatment paradigm in rheumatology changed, and with every year more medications were available. Her love for rheumatology continued to grow as she went through medical school, residency and culminated with her fellowship in rheumatology, and becoming a rheumatologist. Dr. Muntean is honored to be the 2018 Medical Honoree, and hopes you will join her and her team at the 2018 Jingle Bell Run Inland Northwest.

Join Dr. Muntean in the fight against arthritis, regsiter or donate today.

Amber Fisher
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Adult Honoree

Amber was only 17 when she first noticed bouts of unexplained joint pain, swelling, and stiffness amongst other seemingly nonctributory symptoms. Unforunately all of these symptoms came together and 5 years later she recieved a heartbreaking diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The common reality for rheumatological diseases is that it can take years for a diagnosis. Imagine having a lively and active lifestyle including hiking, yoga, cycling, hanging out with friends and family, and so much more then having to combat all of that with unpredictable fatigue, joint pain, swelling, and stiffness; that is exactly what living with RA is like, especially as a young adult trying to mold their relationships, physically health, career, and life. Living with RA has taught Amber to be humble, listen to her body, and to rest when necessary so she can continue to do the things she loves with those people most important to her. RA has taught Amber to be a more compassionate and empathetic registered nurse, now being a patient herself. Amber takes medications that are harsh, has experienced a multitude of unpleasent side effects and has even felt defeated after failing several regimens only meant to help. But one thing Amber has learned in the last few years is that failure is not final. Amber wouldn’t be where she is today without the Arthritis Foundation, her biggest support system of her friends and her family, and her exclusive medical team that she sees on a regular basis. All of these people help ensure that Amber is living life to its fullest, feeling her best. 

Join Amber in the fight against arthritis, register or donate today!

Gracie-Mae Coates
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree

At the early age of just 18 months old, Gracie went swimming with her family for her brother’s birthday. She wasn't feeling well but her parents didn't think too much of it since she had recently gotten over the flu. Once done swimming, Gracie’s mother reached to get her out and noticed that Gracie’s right knee was very red and had swollen to the size of a softball.  This fun filled day had led to a 5 day stay in the hospital for Gracie, followed by two surgeries. The first surgery was needed to drain her knee and the second was needed to put in a pic line, just in case she developed an infection. Five days later they left with no answers and a list of specialists.

Six months later, and after seeking opinions from an infection specialist, her pediatrician, an orthopedic specialist and a physical therapist, Gracie was referred to Seattle Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Definitely not what a parent wants to here, but since her diagnosis she has been treated with several medications, some were a success, and some resulted in setbacks.

Gracie is amazing and does not let this disease get her down.  She holds on to hope that one day there will be a cure for JIA. Gracie hopes that you will join her at the 2018 Jingle Bell Run Inland Norwest in Spokane, WA.

Join Gracie in the fight against arthritis, register or donate today!


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