2019 Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees


Vasilios Mathews, M.D
Medical Honoree

Vasilios Mathews, M.D., specializes in joint replacement surgery, including surgery via minimally-invasive joint replacement techniques. Dr. Mathews has extensive experience with bone-sparing procedures, including partial knee replacement and hip resurfacing, as well as with the newest innovative techniques, including anterior hip replacements and the use of low-wear joint replacements. His specialization also includes revision of certain failed prior hip surgeries and prior knee surgery, and failed knee replacements.

Dr. Mathews is a member of Fondren Orthopedic Group and practices at Texas Orthopedic Hospital. He is proud to offer his care entirely by himself, including daily rounds and direct patient care.

A native of Connecticut, Dr. Mathews obtained his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He began his postgraduate training at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York where he was named Chief Orthopedic Surgery Resident. Dr. Mathews completed his fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he specialized in adult lower extremity reconstruction.

Dr. Mathews has many publications and presentations to his credit. He is a member of: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, Houston Orthopedic Society.

He is excited to be joining the Arthritis Foundation as the 2019 Medical Honoree to support the organization’s efforts, which directly impact his pa- tients. Dr. Mathews himself has had his hip replaced for arthritis and is able to empathize with those suffering from the daily pain of their joint disease.

Join Dr. Mathews in supporting the Walk to Cure Arthritis, and help him reach his $10,000 goal by going to: https://events.arthritis.org/team/TOH

Cristina Schaefer
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Adult Honoree

Cristina was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)15 years ago.
Within 6 months, she went from noticing a little stiffness in her
hands, wrist, knees, elbows and feet, to waking up in the morning
not being able to move. She recalls her initial thought being, “Isn’t
arthritis an old person’s disease?”. Even more shocking, she was
told that based on how quickly the disease was attacking her
body, if she didn’t begin an aggressive medicinal defense right
away, she would be in a wheelchair within 3-4 years. After years of
trial and error, Cristina and her Rheumatologist were able to find a
medication regimen that worked, and she was able to she was
able to live a “normal” life again.

Several years later, she and her husband decided to start a family.
This meant that she would need to stop the medication that had
kept her moving for so long. During pregnancy she was lucky
enough to experience remission. Just ten days after her daughter
was born, the disease returned with a vengeance. New mom tasks
such as changing diapers, snapping onesies and washing bottles
became impossible. Now, almost 3 years later, she and her
Rheumatologist are still working to find the right medication that
can get her back to a controlled state.

Outside of working full-time as a social media professional, Cristina
spends her free time volunteering at Arthritis Foundation events
and has been a part of the Walk to Cure Arthritis Committee for
many years. She enjoys educating others and providing support to
those newly diagnosed. These relationships not only provide her
with a community to vent to when things get tough, but their
successes give her hope for the future.

To support Cristina’s goal of raising $5,000 please go to:

Charlie Field
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree

7 year old Charlie was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) in May of 2017. In the year and a half since then, the Field family has reached a new normal - constant injections to prevent the symptoms from interrupting Charlie’s childhood. The first 9 months included daily injections, but switched to once a month injections for the last year, and the plan so far is to continue for at least another 12 months. The medications have worked extremely well at preventing Charlie’s JIA symptoms.

Charlie is an avid sports fan. Last year alone, he played T-ball, soccer, karate, basketball, and is now playing flag football. He recently stated that he wants to play football at Clemson   University because they won the National Championship! Charlie’s parents don’t plan on letting JIA keep him from realizing his dreams, whatever they turn out to be. The Field family is excited that Charlie was asked to be this year’s Youth Honoree for the Houston Walk to Cure Arthritis, and are humbled to have the opportunity to help in our small part to bring awareness to Juvenile Arthritis. 

Please join Charlie in supporting the Walk to Cure Arthritis, and help him reach his $5,000 goal by going to: 


Spondylosis Arthritis
Animal Honoree

Max is a 13-year-old Golden Retriever from Brenham, Texas. He was brought home by his dad in 2006. This is where Max experienced the college life! Max has made an impact in the lives of those who surround him. He constantly reminds others to smile just by looking into their eyes. Max loves to go for long walks at the park. Before his diagnosis, he was an avid long distance  runner. He trained with his mother and grandfather for half and full marathons in the hot Houston summers and in the bitter cold winters of Chicago. He averaged 10 miles a day, 5 days a week for many years.  

He encountered many medical issues throughout his life, but was always able to make a full recovery until he was diagnosed with a severe case of spondylosis of his entire lumbar spine. The doctor said it is the third worst case he has seen. He currently receives chiropractic care, acupuncture and laser therapy to manage his discomfort, takes medications and has a grain free, balanced diet filled with turmeric, to manage his body weight, which puts less pressure on his joints. 

Since starting his treatment in November 2018, Max has experienced significant improvement in his mobility skills. Despite experiencing the arthritis pain, he is still very playful and full of energy and never rejects an invitation for a car ride or walk in the park. Needless to say, Max continues to make an impact in the lives of others by bringing so much optimism, positivity, joy & love into their lives. He is excited to be this year’s Canine Honoree to spread the word that Dogs Get Arthritis, Too! 

Please join Max in supporting the Walk to Cure Arthritis, and help him reach his $1,000 goal by going to: 



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