It is my honor to be elected as the Chair of the PheoPara Alliance. This organization has helped me and so many others understand the nature of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Just because it is rare, doesn’t mean the information has to be. That is the mission I intend to carry out – to increase the understanding of pheo para to providers, patients, and family members of those affected.
I have a simple reason for wanting to succeed at this role – I am a survivor of metastatic pheochromocytoma. It was estimated that I carried this for 10+ years. I know the struggle of day to day life of those affected. I’ve felt the frustration of knowing something was wrong with my body but not being able to get a diagnosis that treats the underlying issue. Sadly, I also know the toll it takes on those closest to you. Because of these reasons, it is my personal mission to get the information into the hands of the providers and patients so that they can connect the dots quicker.
Currently, I am a Vice President of a medical device organization called Vitrolife which specializes in infertility. I have an education in Biochemistry with an MBA. Prior to working in the commercial/operational side of medicine, I worked in laboratories studying Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Breast Cancer, and Polymer Chemistry. If I had to name a personal quality that is attributed to cancer, it would definitely be resilience. At the age of four, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia and received chemotherapy for four years until being put in remission. I don’t know why anyone would be considered an expert by their second rodeo, but the pheo wasn’t my first rodeo. I just bounced back quicker after my skilled team at the University of CO successfully removed it.
I would like to thank Matt Capogreco for his distinguished years of leadership and recognize I have big shoes to fill. With the support of the Executive Director, Stephanie Alband, and the rest of the board, I intend to carry out the board’s mission to it’s fullest: To empower patients with pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma, their families and medical professionals through advocacy, education and a global community of support, while helping to advance research that accelerates treatments and cures.
Pheo Para Alliance, Chair