jingle bell run arthritis 5K

National Jingle Bell Run Honorees

JBR Youth Honoree Max Larsen

National Youth Honoree

Max Larsen

Max Larsen is this year’s 2016 National Jingle Bell Run Youth Honoree. He was first diagnosed when he was 8 years old and since then has been determined to find a cure. Max is currently is an active 13 year old boy from Green Bay, Wisconsin who wants to continue to play sports, hunt, and fish in spite of his daily pain.

Max has a goal to find a cure, like all goals he sets; he will not stop until that is accomplished. Whether he is donating proceeds ($10,000+) from the livestock he raises and sells at the local Livestock Show, planning a successful team fundraiser, or sharing his story, Max will do his part to find a cure. Max and his team, “To the Max” enjoy participating in the Jingle Bell Run each year to help make a difference and get closer to finding a cure. Max is a true Champion of YES, join him and the others affected by arthritis by participating in the Jingle Bell Run!


2015: Personally raised $36,165      Team raised $42,575

JBR Adult Honoree Joanna Helon

National Adult Honoree

Joanna Helon

Joanna Helon is this year’s 2016 National Jingle Bell Run Adult Honoree. As someone who was diagnosed 33 years ago, when she herself was a child, Joanna’s experience with arthritis resonates with many people – with parents who are worried about how their seven year old with arthritis will do as their child grows up and faces the challenges and joys of adulthood as well as with adult arthritis suffers who understand the feelings of frustration that come with a disease that won’t let up.

Joanna’s story shows the hope and promise of new medications and treatments. Joanna suffered most of her joint damage when she was young and on gold shots. Her disease is under control now thanks to much more effective medications even though the damage to her joints causes her limitations. Joanna often talks about her husband’s reaction to volunteering at Arthritis Camp asking “Why don’t these kids have the damage that you do?” and her answer is simple, better treatments. This is a compelling case for the continued investment in the Arthritis Foundation and research for a cure. As Joanna looks back on her childhood, what she remembers is not what she couldn't do but what she could do. She is a true Champion of YES!

2015: Personally raised $1,580   Team raised $8,355