2021 CCF Board Members
I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but was raised mostly in Nigeria, West Africa, by my American mother and Nigerian father. I returned to the United States for college and earned a degree in Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University in 1987. Following graduation, as a way to quench my love for travel to any and everywhere, I became a flight attendant for Pan American World Airways, something I did for several years until Pan Am’s closure. I then moved to London with my now-husband Joe and took the opportunity to follow in my mother’s footsteps by qualifying as a Barrister after gaining an L.L.B. in Law from the University of London and being called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2002. After moving back to the US, I became an active participant in the local community, serving as a long-time board member of the League of Women Voters, Rye, Rye Brook and Port Chester chapter. I also sit on the board of The School of the Holy Child, Rye where my children are current students as well as the Rye Arts Center. I am also a former board member and past president of the Port Chester – Rye Brook Rotary and “Staying Put in Rye and the Environs”, otherwise known as SPRYE. In 2006, my husband and I co-founded One World United & Virtuous, a charitable organization dedicated to helping today’s youth become 21st century leaders through global awareness, character education, and “future ready” skills. Today, we serve over 1,000 students in 10 countries. We recently moved to Port Chester where we live with our daughter’s Keira (17) and Rhianna (15). My hobbies include traveling (needless to say), reading, binge-watching anything Netflix and Hulu and I’m a brand new needlepoint addict. I was inspired to become a CCF board member after my daughter was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma in May of 2019 and treated by Dr. Cairo’s team at Westchester Medical Center. She’s near the end of her treatment but after seeing what she went through and gaining knowledge of the pediatric cancer journey, I could not imagine NOT getting involved in this area and doing whatever I can to raise awareness and help fundraise for more research.
I am retired public school administrator spending close to 40 years as a teacher and principal. I worked with all age groups of children. My wife and I live in Carlsbad, California (suburb of San Diego). We have 2 lovely daughters, a 35 year old living in Paris, France and a 33 year old, who currently lives in Oceanside, California. I spend much of my free time reading, volunteering at the San Diego Safari Park or volunteering at 4 major wine competitions throughout the year. I have been involved with Pediatric Cancer Foundations for over 35 years. I discovered, early on, that there is very little funding available for Pediatric Cancer Research. I volunteered my services as an auctioneer for other Pediatric Cancer Foundations. I am delighted to be a Board member of the Children’s Cancer Foundation and hopefully assist and support bringing in funds that will go directly to Pediatric Cancer Research.
Recently retired after 45 years in the private business sector. Traveled extensively throughout my professional career. Was involved in many acquisitions and sell-offs of divisions within the companies I worked for. I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren who I now get to spend much more time with as a retiree. Once the country opens up from Covid-19 restrictions, will then continue running/walking competitive half marathons. Dr. Mitchell Cairo, one of the recipients of grants from CCF, is one of my closest friends. I asked if there were any charities that could use my background in finance and he immediately mentioned CCF. I have been on the Board of CCF for 24 months and have seen the results of a creative Board to making this charity successful. In retirement now, my plan is to be more involved in the activities of CCF and in collecting donations to allow Dr. Cairo and his colleagues to achieve a 100% cure rate for all childhood cancers.
I am Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and work in a school districts through-out Westchester managing the wellness aspects of school lunch programs. I have worked in hospitals and private consulting have always been drawn to working with children as it relates to nutrition. My husband (Francis) and I have been married for 19 years and have two sons (Colin 16 & Danny 14) and an almost 2-year-old Goldendoodle Rudy. As a family we love to spend time on our lake kayaking, paddling, fishing and spending time with family, friends & Rudy. We also love to spend time at the beach in New Jersey every summer with our large extended family. In October of 2017, my then 10-year-old son Danny was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Every family’s worst nightmare. We chose to have Danny treated right in our back yard at Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital under the care of Dr. Mitch Cairo. Danny received two bone marrow transplants, radiation and many targeted personalized treatments under the care of Dr. Cairo. We spent many months in the hospital and experienced many ups and many downs. The team of doctors and nurses became like our temporary family, holding our hands day in and day and doing all they could do to fight Danny’s cancer while taking care of Colin, Francis and myself. Unfortunately, in June of 2019 Danny’s body had enough and he passed away after a courageous battle. Despite everyone’s tireless efforts Danny’s cancer was relentless. No child or family should ever have to go what we went through, but they do, and they will continue to if something does not change. I am passionate about making a positive impact in the world of pediatric cancer! Being a member of the CCF Board is helping me get involved in making a real impact on Pediatric Cancer in honor of our beautiful son Danny.
Our family became involved when our son Daniel was diagnosed with Lymphoma about 12 years ago and was treated by Dr. Cairo. Daniel is fully recovered and is now a father himself of a healthy boy. Our daughter Kelly is a Ph.D. biomedical researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, inspired by the research work of Dr. Cairo. My hobbies include hiking with our dog Luca, playing the trombone, and teaching philosophy. I became involved with CCF at the request of Dr. Cairo, who treated our son Daniel, and became a close friend in the process of treatment and afterwards.
I am a wife and mother of three boys ages 13, 11, and 11. I love working part time at the local nursery school in my community. I have a small tribe of family and friends that I love to spend time with and I enjoy running to keep my head on straight.My oldest son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 10. After he successfully completed treatment, I wanted to give back to Dr Cairo. Children's cancer protocols are outdated and underfunded and CCF is trying to advance research in this area. I think that having the perspective of people who are directly affected is crucial to the success of any organization. I hope that I can contribute to CCF in a positive way and help them work towards curing childhood cancer.
I knew in high school that I wanted to be a nurse after watching my father battle and finally lose, a long illness with a brain tumor. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1994 and began my career as a Pediatric nurse at Westchester Medical Center. I loved my job in Pediatrics and quickly realized that Pediatric Oncology was what I wanted to specialize in, so I decided to earn my master’s degree as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I did so in 2000 and since then have focused my career on taking care of children and families battling cancer and blood diseases. It is the most difficult yet rewarding job I could ever imagine. I am privileged to be a part of my patients’ lives and am grateful for the life lessons I learn from them every day. My college sweetheart, Dennis and I have been married for 21 years and are parents to 3 great kids, Dennis 18, Maggie 17 and Lily 13. I love being outdoors, hiking or reading on the beach, but these days the majority of my outdoor time is spent shuffling my kids around and watching them play sports. There were several reasons why, when there are so many worthy organizations to volunteer for, I chose to get involved with The Children’s Cancer Fund. I have always volunteered in my community but having seen first-hand the deficits in research and funding in Pediatric Oncology, I knew I had to do more than what I was doing in my “day job”. I loved the idea that CCF was supporting the patients and families in our community, as well supporting the research lead by Dr. Cairo, an expert in the field of Pediatric Cancer, so I started helping out at events. When my best friend’s son was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and became my patient, I got a whole new perspective on the ugly battle with childhood cancer. It was then, in 2018 that I became President of CCF. I am grateful to serve on the board and look forward to continuing to raise money to one day put an end to the suffering caused by childhood cancer and blood diseases.