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2021 California Coast Classic Honorees


Day 1 - Taylor Pierce

Day 2 - Avri Keyser

Day 3 -  Advocacy and Art

Day 4 - Christine Parker-Kennedy

Day 5 - Dr. Christian Dequet & Dr. Jon Allen

Day 6 - Justin Baker

Day 7 - Celebrating Our Volunteers

Day 8 - Warrior Tribute


Taylor Pierce

Becoming seriously ill at just ten years old with an unknown malady wasn’t easy for Taylor Pierce who suddenly found herself prone to lengthy nosebleeds and inexplicable join pain, and far too exhausted to join her brother in their usual outdoor adventures. It took over a year, and a month-long hospital stay, before she was properly diagnosed with Lupus, a diagnosis that brought little relief. Fortunately, her doctors at Stanford told her parents about Camp Milagros and although she was initially apprehensive, Camp Milgros became her safe haven—the source of friends who became a support system, sounding board and “besties” who understood her struggles because they faced them too. Taylor wants to pass those benefits on to kids with rheumatic diseases like hers through her career as a school psychologist and she offers thanks to all the CCC riders for making sure camps like Camp Milagros remain available far into the future.



Avri Keyser

Avri Keyser has carried a diagnosis of Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis since the tender age of 17 months. She and her family have been supporters of the Arthritis Foundation for 7 years now—ever since they first sent her a Power Pack and “Mr Bear”, who is her steady companion on bad days. Methotrexate and Enbrel have been wonder drugs for Avri who is now 9 and living pain-free, a goal many JIA patients never reach. She is starting to wean off her meds hoping for a day when she isn’t sick from medication side-effects, doesn’t need regular blood work or suffer injection anxiety, and has a mom who doesn’t have to worry about her compromised immune system in the middle of a pandemic.



Advocacy and Art
Featured Artists: Dr. Shadi Seyedyousef and Olivia Hoffman

Artists Shadi Seyedyousef and Olivia Hoffman express their feelings and insights about living with arthritis through their art. Olivia uses anime-style drawings to represent different feelings that she has experienced living as a young person with an “older person’s disease.” Shadi’s art reminds her of the things she has learned and the sheroes she has learned from that help her face her health challenges with resilience and even joy.

Dr. Shadi Seyedyousef

Dr. Shadi Seyedyousef, whose first name means “happiness”, believes joy is a form of resistance, and hopes all the CCC riders will find a little of that on this year’s ride. Born in Iran, Dr. Seyedyousef came to the US with her mother for treatment after her diagnosis with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of three. She expresses her history and identity through art, painting herself as a happy child who is still very much a warrior, creating portraits of her favorite sheroes who taught her to challenge the status quo, and reflecting the importance of staying rooted.

Olivia Hoffman

Liv Hoffman has spent the last three years coming to terms with her arthritis diagnosis. She uses her art to express the many emotions brought on by dealing with an illness commonly thought to affect only “old people” when one is only 16: from anger, frustration, and loneliness to acceptance, and gratitude. She credits her time at Camp Esperanza and the friends who became like family there for helping her make progress on the hard journey toward loving her “achey body” and treating herself with care and kindness.




Christine Parker-Kennedy

Nothing could be more heartwarming than having your husband, three brothers-in-law, and two nephews agree to a challenge as huge as raising $3500 a piece for the privilege of riding 525 miles down the coast of California in your honor. Christine Parker-Kennedy’s heart is truly the warmest since that is exactly what her family is doing. As a 30-year RA patient, Christine is aware of the ongoing need for research despite all the progress that has been made. She truly appreciates the encouragement and support she has found at the Arthritis Foundation.




Dr. Christian Dequet & Dr. Jon Allen

Drs. Christian Dequet and Jon Allen experience the struggles of arthritis through their patients.

Dr. Duquet values the friendships he has built with his patients by doing things together outside the exam room—like participating in the CCC.



Dr. Allen rides for his patients, several of whom have had various forms of arthritis, and for his wife Rose who has lived with autoimmune arthritis for more than 20 years. The disease has caused her some limitations over the years but she remains active, a real “trooper” who doesn’t let it get her down. He considers it a privilege to ride the CCC and help raise funds for arthritis research.



Justin Baker

Diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis at 16, Justin Baker felt pretty alone as a young person with a chronic disease until he found the Arthritis Foundation’s Young Adult Network. That led him to Camp Esperanza as a camp counselor and connected him with two friends who all agreed to do the California Coast Classic together. It was quite a challenge but one he considers a real highlight in his life. Over the last decade he has become a vocal advocate for people with invisible chronic diseases, filming his own documentary “You Don’t Look Sick”.



Celebrating Our Volunteers

The heart and soul of the California Coast Classic are the volunteers who pitch in to support our amazing riders and make the event happen. We couldn’t do it without them, and they always do it with a smile, whether they’re setting up a rest stop, ringing a cowbell and cheering, or working behind the scenes on any of a million unglamourous tasks of the CCC. We honor them daily, but on Day 7, we are proud to shower all of our volunteers with some extra love.



Warrior Tribute

Juvenile Arthritis affects over 300,000 children in the United States—children who, like Sophia Cooper, can be diagnosed as young as one or two and spend much of their childhood battling a disease that tests their resilience daily. They are our youngest Arthritis Warriors and we honor them and their families today for their tenacity and determination to Live Yes! despite the challenges JA brings.

Sophia Cooper

Twelve-year-old Sophia Cooper has already been battling arthritis for a decade. Like many children with JRA, she has tried a variety of medicines over the years and will soon need surgical intervention as well. Despite these challenges, she and her whole family stay positive and actively involved in the Arthritis Foundation, supporting the Orange County JBR as members of the JBR Committee and through Team Sophia, and joining the fight to raise awareness and funds so that one day there will be a cure for this disease.