Sign in to My HQ

2014 Jingle Bell Run/Walk - Franklin, TN

Saturday, December 6, The Square in Historic Downtown Franklin

Be part of the largest holiday 5K race series aimed to fight arthritis!

Chosen as one of the Most Incredible Themed Races, Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others!

Don't forget that Waggers are welcome! Bring your furry friends because dogs get Arfritis too!

Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Raise funds to help find a cure for arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability. Run or walk a 5 kilometer route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving.

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. But you can still donate!
Please come and register at Packet Pickup (details in the left menu) on Thursday December 4th or at the REGISTRATION tent on Race Day, Saturday, December 6th.

Event Contact:

Name: Melissa LaBonge
Phone: (615) 806-8540

Meet your 2014 Junior Honoree!!

When Madeline was 15 months old, we noticed that she was walking “funny”. This went on for several weeks on and off. Eventually she wasn’t standing in her crib in the morning when mom came in; she wouldn’t allow anyone to hold her in a way that bent her legs. When we finally sat down to really look at what might be going on we realized that Madeline couldn’t bend or straighten her knee at all on one side. We went to see our pediatrician who sent us immediately for an x-ray. We all expected that she had some type of fracture and the x-ray would help us figure it out. After pictures were taken, the head of radiology came out and wanted to see her walk, hoping that seeing her would help him know where to look for the fracture on her films. But, there was nothing to see. Her x-rays looked normal, so he called up and had us see an orthopedist that had some time right then. We spent a while walking for the doctor and then he examined her knee and realized it was physically warmer than the rest of her leg. He said he was going to splint her leg but expected it wouldn’t help and thought that she may have Pauciarticular Rheumatoid Arthritis. But, maybe it wasn’t that and we would wait two weeks and see.

During the two week wait, Madeline ran a 99-100 degree temperature, due to her joints being so inflamed. She eventually had to go to the emergency room when her fever reached 103 and wouldn’t reduce with medicine. All the bloodwork in the ER confirmed likely rheumatoid disease and the outlook for our little girl changed drastically. We had our first appointment in the Rheumatology clinic and Madeline cried the whole time, at 18 months old, there is nothing fun about the doctor. This was the day that we were told officially that she had multiple joints effected by arthritis (all four ankle joints, both wrists, and one knee). She was seen by PT and OT, fitted with splints and scheduled to come back in two weeks. At that appointment, we realized that Madeline was much sicker than we had originally thought and we began intense PT, a lot of new medications, and new footwear to compensate for her legs being different lengths due to the arthritis. Over the coming months, Madeline spent eight weeks with a cast on her leg to get her knee to fully straighten, she slept with splints on her wrists to be sure she would be able to straighten them each morning, and she endured sedated MRIs and steroid injections to identify and decrease the amount of inflammation in her joints.

In the four years since the initial diagnosis of JRA, Madeline has increased the level of medication from one Biologic drug, which didn’t control her disease enough, to another Biologic that must be infused. So now, one time each month, Madeline bravely enters the chemotherapy lab and receives an IV which infuses this medicine into her body so that she can keep the arthritis in her joints at bay and live her life the way every 6 year old should; with movement and freedom from pain!

Challenges that Madeline still deal with are the pain and some nights she goes to sleep hurting. She has always wanted to do gymnastics, but, that is not something that is recommended because of the arthritis in her wrist. Madeline loves dance and soccer. She chooses to practice even when she is hurting and we tell her she doesn’t have to. She wants to play soccer even when she knows her legs will hurt later! Madeline loves art and being around friends. She enjoys singing, dancing, playing outside, and playing with Minnie our little Maltipoo and her brothers, Dean and Daniel. Madeline is in first grade. She has lots of school spirit and loves recess and math! She enjoys helping others at Inner City Ministries and through other church projects. Once she finishes school, Madeline would like to be a singer. She hopes for the future are that her medicines make her “not have arthritis anymore”, instead of it just making her not hurt as much.

Help Files

Special Thanks to:
Vanderbilt Bone and Joint Logo