2021 Jingle Bell Run Honorees


 Honorary Co-Chairs
Richard D. Parker, MD

President, Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital President, Cleveland Clinic Eastern Region Hospitals.

Click here to join Dr. Parker's team.

Gary J. Calabrese, PT, DPT

Cleveland Clinic Senior Director, Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy.

Click here to join Gary Calabrese's team.



Paisley Benner
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Child Honoree

6-year-old Paisley Benner is the definition of resiliency. Born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition in which she easily breaks bones, Paisley had already been fighting daily battles when she received her arthritis diagnosis at just 23 months old. Paisley’s mother Samantha, a physical therapist, contacted an orthopedist when Paisley’s joints were unusually swollen. “The added diagnosis of JIA felt very heavy,” said Samantha, “each hospital trip was an emotional experience.” While Paisley is currently symptom-free from her JIA, in 2020 she began fighting her biggest battle yet, acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Despite her multiple diagnoses, Paisley takes on each day with a big smile, no matter how difficult. Her family’s hope for the future is that no child goes through this and that treatments are not so variable.

To support or join Paisley visit her team's fundraising page. 



Emily Kerensky
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Adult Honoree

Like many patients, Emily Kerensky experienced painful arthritis symptoms months before her actual diagnosis. Her swelling spread to several joints, including her jaw, to a life-threatening point of making it difficult to eat, speak and even breathe. When it came time for reconstructive jaw surgery at age 16, although Emily was fearful, she was ready.

Today, Emily manages her arthritis mainly through anti-inflammatory medications and, although sensitive, her jaw functions perfectly. A junior at Slippery Rock University, Emily has found a passion for psychology. She understands the importance of mental health and finding community, especially for those like her healing from the effects of severe medical traumas.

Emily considers her greatest achievement turning her suffering into something positive and hopes to continue helping others heal from similar experiences.

To support or join Emily visit her team's fundraising page. 


Michelle M Gant PT, MPT, OCS
Cleveland Clinic Akron General Rehab and Sports Therapy
Medical Honoree

Michelle Gant is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedics and has been a physical therapist for almost 20 years. She works daily with people that have been diagnosed with arthritis and is passionate about helping her patients decrease their pain, manage their symptoms and stay active with the ultimate goal to prevent surgery. Michelle knows arthritis personally, having dislocated both of her knees in her early twenties, doctors told her she would likely need total knee replacements sooner than most. She leads by example in arthritis pain management by strengthening, incorporating manual therapy techniques, and making healthy food choices like limiting sugar. Michelle doesn’t let arthritis stop her from her favorite activities including running; she just completed her fifth half marathon. To support or join Michelle visit her team's fundraising page.