Starting in November and continuing through mid-December, check this space every Tuesday to read about one of our amazing Jingle Bell Run teams!
The family and team from MTI Events is a living tribute to Vicki Krupp, a true arthritis warrior who founded the company in 1986. Vicki’s daughter – Melissa DeLeon, who now runs MTI Events – says Rheumatoid Arthritis had a profound impact on her mother but that Vicki refused to let it define her. “Mom was diagnosed in the mid-1970s and, at that time, there weren’t a lot of treatments,” Melissa says. “The doctor basically told her she would be in a wheelchair within a year and that her life as she knew it was going to drastically change. Needless to say, Mom did not like that diagnosis. The word ‘no’ didn’t exist in her vocabulary. She continued to teach high school for several years while she tried all the medications available. She eventually opened her own event planning company, which is MTI Events. She traveled to six continents, 82 countries, swam with sharks, hot-air ballooned over the Serengeti, met President Bush, walked all four Disney parks with her grandkids, and never did need that wheelchair. She lived life to its fullest before complications of RA got the best of her” at age 64. These days, MTI Events is a loyal supporter of numerous Arthritis Foundation events, and Melissa is the Chair of the Kansas City Leadership Board. Since 2016, MTI Events has donated or fundraised more than $30,000 in support of the Arthritis Foundation, and their JBR team will get together again this year to honor Vicki. “We run in her honor,” Melissa says, “because we are all Champions of Yes!”