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2024 Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees


Laura Gamel
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Adult Honoree

Laura Oliver Gamel of Baton Rouge, wife and mother of two, has lived with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for nearly half her life. Through her faith and support from her family, she lives a full and complete life. Her journey with RA started 23 years ago and has not been easy. She’s had to make many adjustments, but she doesn’t let it stop her from living life to the fullest at home and at work as an Executive Assistant at Hidalgo Health Associates. She is forever grateful for Dr. Stephen Lindsey, Rheumatologist, for being the brightest light and saving her life.


Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree

Taj, a 13-year-old boy, enjoys gaming, singing, listening to music, watching wrestling and spending time with his sisters. Once an active young boy who loved playing football, dancing, and jumping around, his world changed when he was just 6 years old.

Severe pain and a swollen ankle led Taj to several specialists who suspected a sprained or fractured ankle. Overwhelmed, his parents prayed for God to help. A pediatric rheumatologist diagnosed him with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and he began treatment right away.

Taj bravely faces many challenges with a great sense of humor and doesn’t let JIA stop him. He’s part of his school’s football team and National Honors BETA Club.