2019 Jingle Bell Run Honorees


Sami Knight
Juvenile Arthritis
Teen Honoree

Sami Knight is a 15 year old North Port High School freshman. She is currently enrolled in their Visual Performing Arts program with a major in Theatre and a focus in Musical Theatre.

She was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis at the age of 4 and Uveitis at the age of 5. Sami has been participating in the Jingle Bell Run since 2009 with her team, Team Chicken. Sami and her family have been involved with the Arthritis Foundation for many years, attending National JA Conferences and more.

Sami has such a love for the theater that she will not let her Arthritis stand in her way. She is thrilled to be serving as the Teen Honoree for the 2019 Manasota Jingle Bell Run! Come join Sami and see why she is a Champion of Yes!

Join Sami in her fight against arthritis, register or donate today!

Arianna Monroe
Juvenile Arthritis
Youth Honoree

Arianna was born with black, curly hair and the spirit of a warrior. The nurses told us she was a fighter. We thought, “How could they know this about our baby?!” Little did we know how right they were!

Arianna started life as an opinionated baby, knowing what she wanted from day one. Early on she was diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance. As life progressed, we found Arianna hitting her normal milestones: sitting up, crawling, and walking. Between 12-18 months, she started regressing and each morning she woke up crying, unable to bend her knees.

We took her to our pediatrician concerned about this regression, pain and her noticeable limp. We were referred to a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon. They took hip x-rays, with no results, we went home with no answers.

Arianna’s limp continued, but now her knees, ankles, wrists and fingers were visibly swollen. Again, we were sent for x-rays, with the same result. We now explored the possibility of a genetic disorder that runs in our family, Emery Dreyfuss Muscular Dystrophy. We were referred to Dr. Fernandez at Shiner’s Hospital. At this point, it was concluded that her pain was not connected to the MD and Dr. Fernandez suggested arthritis. We were flabbergasted by this suggestion. She was a baby; how could this be true?

We were referred to All Children’s Hospital and Dr. Santiago in rheumatology. At our first meeting we knew we were in great hands. Arianna was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. It has been a hard road; Arianna has weekly shots and visits her doctor frequently. Arianna does have the spirit of a warrior. Our family moto is you can do whatever you want in life and Arianna wants to be She-Ra. She says she is strong like She-Ra, and she is 100% correct!

Join Arianna in her fight against arthritis, register or donate today!