2019 Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees


Jay Wallis

Jay Wallis is a reporter at KVUE in Austin, Texas.

Jay became a news reporter for KVUE in October 2016. During his time with the station, he has covered a diverse set of stories and topics. Along with his unique editing style, Jay has been in the thick of many of the more serious stories in Central Texas, including the Austin bombing situation in 2018. He has also been nominated for a Lone Star Emmy award each of the past two years.

Before he arrived in Austin, he spent a little more than a year at a sister station in Tyler, Texas as the Longview bureau chief. He also worked as a sports reporter/anchor as well as a weekend anchor for a period of time.

While reporting in East Texas, Jay also traveled around the state for different news and sports events. He covered the Houston Texans-Kansas City Chiefs 2016 playoff game, assisted sister station KBMT during severe flood coverage in Beaumont and traveled to Dallas in July 2016 to report on the police-related shooting incident.

Jay spent four years at the University of Missouri before graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism in Radio and Television News. He worked for KOMU throughout his time in Columbia, where he grew to love TV news.

Born and raised in Dallas, Jay is happy to continue working in his home state as he is an avid fan of all DFW sports teams. He also has an eclectic taste in movies and music, making Austin the perfect place to enjoy both.

Dr. Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA
UT Health Austin's Musculoskeletal Institute
Medical Honoree  

Dr. Kevin Bozic is an orthopedic surgeon practicing at UT Health Austin’s Musculoskeletal Institute. His clinical practice is focused on the management of patients with hip and knee arthritis, which he does in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of providers focused on improving health outcomes that matter to their patients, including pain, function, and quality of life. He has over 15 years of experience as an Adult Reconstructive Surgeon focusing on simple and complex primary and revision hip and knee arthroplasty.

Dr. Bozic also serves as the inaugural Chair of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the Dell Medical School at UT Austin. He is a nationally recognized leader in orthopedic surgery and value based health care payment and delivery models. Prior to joining the Dell Medical School, he was the William R. Murray Endowed Professor and Vice Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, and Core Faculty of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, where he graduated magna cum laude, and an MD with Thesis degree from UCSF. He completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency training in the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency Program, and additional Fellowship training in Adult Reconstructive Surgery from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Bozic also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School (HBS), where he continues to serve as a Senior Institute Associate in Professor Michael Porter’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. Dr. Bozic has extensive research and policy experience in the growing field of value-based health care, focused on implementation and evaluation of value-based payment and delivery models. His is also the recipient of numerous awards for his work in clinical practice and research.

Virgil McCown
Military Veteran Honoree

Virgil is a 75 year old Army veteran who served his country as a Staff Sergeant during Vietnam from 1962-1969. While in service he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Virgil is impacted by Osteoarthritis which causes pain in his feet, hands and knees. This form of arthritis does not slow him down though as he is a master plumber, house renovator and an all around expert DIY’er..

In addition, Virgil has supported the Arthritis Foundation's mission of bringing awareness and funding research through his donations and attendance at the Walk to Cure Arthritis events since 2011 and Jingle Bell Run since 2016 as a dedicated member of Team Kimber.

AnneMarie K. McComb
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Adult Honoree

AnneMarie McComb was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) at the age of 16. Her symptoms started in her skin, but quickly spread to her joints, including her fingers, jaw, wrists, ankles, hips, and knees. AnneMarie had always had a passion for dance and was a member of her high school drill team. Though she feared this disease would prevent her from pursuing her love for dance, she persevered and became a two-year member of her college dance team at Southern Methodist University. She also was an active member of her college sorority. 

AnneMarie graduated college cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature with honors and departmental distinction, and a minor in Spanish in December, 2015. She started at Baylor Law School in February, 2016 and graduated from law school in July, 2018. After passing the bar exam, AnneMarie now practices law in as a civil litigation attorney with a firm in downtown Austin. Though she no longer dances, she now sings in her local church’s praise band.

“I have been on biologic medications for many years and have had steroid injections. Though I am currently in near remission, the past few years have been far from easy. I owe everything to my amazing family and friends, who have loved and supported me through it all. My involvement with the Arthritis Foundation through advocacy at the national, state, and local level has increased my love of the law and I hope to use my experiences to help others. I want to thank the Arthritis Foundation for this opportunity and for their never-ending efforts to help those with arthritis. I truly believe this illness has changed me for the better, and I remain positive and hopeful about my future health and accomplishments.”

Abigail Frye
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
 Teen Honoree 

When Abigail was 12 she was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. As she sat on the exam table, her hands aching, she quickly realized that her life would never be the same. What had started as a few aches and pains had quickly spread and soon even doing little things was hard. Soon she could no longer run around like everyone else, or play the harp, or do other things she loved like drawing or reading. 

In the United States a diagnosis of Arthritis is overwhelmingly common, with an estimated 54.4 million adults and nearly 50,000 children having been diagnosed with some form of the crippling condition. Each form of the disease is different, but all center around the same major component, chronic pain. After complications from her treatment left her in the hospital, Abigail is even more passionate for a cure in hopes that someday there will be an end to the pain, and a cure for people just like her. 

“I am beyond honored to be this years Teen Honoree for the Walk to Cure Arthritis.  This will be my fourth year to be involved with the Walk to Cure Arthritis and with each year I am more determined to raise awareness and work for a cure than the last.”

Joe Kelly
Juvenile Arthritis
 Youth Honoree 

Joe Kelly was four years old, busy running, playing, and keeping everyone on their toes, when he was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis and Morphea. He’s seven now, and instead of changing his rumble and tumble life, he’s made it all the wilder determined to be stronger in it. Added to his list of activities is Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, dirt-biking, wood-working, and lumberjacking. He hunts and fishes, enjoying everything outdoors. He is a faithful friend to all his buddies and a faithful teaser to his five older sisters. He said not to forget how he loves his dogs! Joe only lets JIA slow him down to crack jokes about it!