2013 Indiana Arthritis Walk Honorees

Meet Alyssa Slater
Purdue Arthritis Walk Honoree

Alyssa is a busy 21 year-old junior at Purdue University studying Dietetics with a minor in Food Science. Her hometown is Evansville, IN, and from the age of 12, Alyssa has been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Despite arthritis, Alyssa does not let it slow her down. She still plays the violin and competes in pageants through the Miss America Organization. She now holds a local title, Miss Northwest Territory, and will compete for Miss Indiana in June. Read more of Alyssa's story

Meet Joy Hedtke
Ft. Wayne Arthritis Walk Youth Honoree

Joy Hedtke (age 4), was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) at the age of three. She has had to learn the pain and struggles of a serious disease at far too young an age.

Joy undergoes bi-weekly IVIG treatments that take all day via IV to provide medicines to her body. She takes several medications daily including steroids and an immune suppressant. Joy also receives an injection of an immune suppressant drug once a week. Her parents, Scott and Zara have had to make adjustments in their family’s life to accommodate Joy’s medical needs.  Read more of Joy's story

Meet Madeline
Ft. Wayne Arthritis Walk Youth Honoree

Madeline is a loving and bright 4 year old girl. She loves doing crafts, playing store, playing with her dolls and stuffed animals. On the outside she looks like a healthy child, however, on the inside Madeline’s body is constantly being challenged. At the age of 3 she was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM).  Read more of Madeline's story

Meet Elena Soto
Ft. Wayne Arthritis Walk Honoree

It was 2006 when Elena was diagnosed with the early stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Sjorgren’s Disease, Raynaud’s Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. She is currently on an Acute Glaucoma Watch.

Elena was scared, angry, frustrated and confused when she received her RA diagnosis. She became depressed and felt sorry for herself. The uncertainty of not knowing what was happening inside her body, and how to “fix it” really made Elena mad.  Read more of Elena's story

Meet Karen Ringwald, MD
Ft. Wayne Arthritis Walk Medical Honoree

Karen Ringwald, MD, who is a native of Van Wert, Ohio, joined Lutheran Medical Group in July 2004. As one of Lutheran Medical Group’s board-certified rheumatologists, Dr. Ringwald can diagnose and treat joint, soft tissue and connecting tissue disorders, and can assess and treat more than 100 rheumatologic ailments. Dr. Ringwald works with patients 18 years of age and older and has a true passion for helping improve the lives of those with arthritis.  Read more about Dr. Ringwald

Meet Emily
Indianapolis Arthritis Walk Youth Honoree

Emily had always been a happy and healthy baby, and she was hardly ever sick; except for the occasional cold or ear infection. All of that changed in November, 2007. Her fierce determination to live well with arthritis makes us proud to have Emily Gebhardt as the 2013 Arthritis Walk Youth Honoree.  Read more of Emily's story

Meet Dr. Meneghini
Indianapolis Arthritis Walk Medical Honoree

Dr. Michael Meneghini is in the business of fixing what arthritis destroys. As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Meneghini specializes in hip and knee replacement at Indiana University Health Saxony Hospital. He has a special interest in arthritis in young adults.

When he is not working, Dr. Meneghini likes to spend time with his family and friends, especially his wife Sarah and his two children; 10 year old Ethan and 8 year old Cecilia.  Read more about Dr. Meneghini's story.

Meet Franki Greiner
Indianapolis Arthritis Walk Honoree

Franki Greiner has arthritis, but that’s not why she takes part in the Arthritis Walk every year. This 63-year young Indianapolis woman is just one among many in her family living with chronic arthritis pain. Her mother and father, husband and two sons have all battled arthritis.

Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 29, Greiner ignored the symptoms and left the disease untreated for nearly a decade.  Read more of Franki's story

Meet Charlie Frisinger
Warsaw Arthritis Walk Honoree

Charlie has always been an avid walker throughout his childhood into his adult life; walking was an activity that he continually preferred over others. In 1999, he began to experience pain in his left knee that hadn’t occurred before, and was intensified whenever he walked; either for exercise or during casual levels of intensity. Upon visiting and being examined by his family doctor, Charlie was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, where he was diagnosed with the first stage of degenerative osteoarthritis.  Read more of Charlie's story


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