Each FSR-GSCA member clinic has a team of Volunteer Leaders. FSR-GSCA Volunteer Leaders are patients and caregivers dedicated to raising awareness about sarcoidosis, and empowering their peers through support and education.
Community Outreach Leaders use their voice to raise sarcoidosis awareness through sharing their experience with this disease and drive awareness activities in their local communities.
Community Group Leaders empower other patients and caregivers through the support and education provided at their monthly FSR-GSCA Community Groups.
Meet the Clinic Volunteers!
Beckie M., Community Group Leader
Beckie is from Colorado but now lives in Alabama. She is a wife to an amazing husband, mother to three beautiful adult grown kids, and dog whisperer in her free time. She often gets asked “how did you end up in Alabama?” When Beckie was diagnosed with a rare disease called sarcoidosis two years ago, she felt her world had crumbled. Her life of being a marathon runner seemed to be over. After failed attempts with several doctors, Beckie immersed herself in researching top hospitals that worked with sarcoidosis patients. Her and her husband packed up their lives in Colorado, saying goodbye to kids and family. They relocated to Alabama for the phenomenal care of the doctors at UAB. This is where their roots are planted and continue to grow.
Deborah R., Community Outreach Leader
Deborah was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Birmingham, Al. She is a mother to two daughters and a grandmother to five beautiful grandchildren. Deborah is currently employed in the accounting department of a large utility company. She was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 1999. Instead of being discouraged by the diagnosis, she chose to channel that energy into living a more present and fulfilling life. As a result, she has discovered a passion for photography. Since her diagnosis she has also spent time advocating for herself and others.
Herman M. III, Community Outreach Leader
Herman was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 1998 after serving two tours in the United States military. One tour in the U.S. Navy and the last in the U.S. Coast Guard. Despite being hospitalized. Herman managed to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Life Education. He has practiced for 20 years as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. After a life of service to others, he has retired. Because of his sense of service, Herman was motivated to apply for the role of FSA-GSCA volunteer Leader. He felt that he was a perfect candidate due to his years of experience working with injured patients, as well as being a Sarcoidosis sufferer himself. Herman is excited to help others learn to deal with the effects of Sarcoidosis. He believes others should apply for the position to increase awareness.
Jason N., Community Outreach Leader
Jason was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2016, and was implanted with a defibrillator shortly after diagnosis. He spent 10 years in the United States Coast Guard serving his country. He is a mechanical engineer for a medical device manufacturer. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and now resides in Los Angeles, California.
Jason hopes to provide sarcoidosis patients with better insight on how to live better with this disease.
Anne R., Community Group Leader
Anne lives in Southern California with her husband, Andy. She is a Management Consultant, as well as an avid traveler, golfer, and gardener. Anne began a new life chapter when diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis two years ago. Finding the right clinical team has enabled Anne to enjoy her favorite parts of life: coffee with friends, long walks with the dog on the beach, and traveling to new destinations.
Anita R., Community Outreach Leader
Anita is from Denver, Colorado. Anita was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 1980. She was awarded her Master’s in Social Work in 1979 and Juris Doctor degree in 1983. Since her admission to the bar, she has successfully and ethically represented clients in a variety of practice areas, including criminal, bankruptcy, commercial litigation, probate, elderly and disability law. She has been a law professor teaching trial advocacy and social work. Moreover, inspired by her parents, she has been a servant leader for nearly five decades, serving on a multitude of community, philanthropic, charitable and political endeavors.
Janet M., Community Group Leader
Janet was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in her lungs and lymph nodes in 2018 at the age of 62. Since her original diagnosis, she now has cardiac sarcoidosis, small fiber neuropathy, and sarcoid myopathy. Janet travels to National Jewish Health from her home in Taos New Mexico about every 3 months to be seen by her team of sarcoidosis experts. She retired from banking a number of years ago and has been volunteering full time in the arts and education space. She has recently been volunteering with FSR on the Patient Advisory Committee and the Development Committee.
Kathryn W., Community Group Leader
Kathryn is a biologist, public health professional and consultant. Her passion is for science and improving the lives of those around her. Kathryn served in the U.S. Army as a Medic. She was diagnosed with sarcoidosis after leaving the military. She has pulmonary, ocular, and cutaneous involvement. Kathryn believes in contributing and being of service to her community as an advocate and by bringing awareness through education and community engagement. She serves on committees and panels focused on veteran suicide prevention, opioid addiction, mental health, and well-being in underserved communities. Kathryn is grateful for the opportunity to serve as an advocate on the Patient Advisory Committee; and on the Women of Color Committee. She looks forward to participating in community engagement efforts, while building lasting relationships with committee members and FSR.
Kristin B., Community Outreach Leader
Kristin is an independent personal stylist for J.Hilburn Custom Menswear. She was diagnosed with sarcoidosis 2 years ago and has sarcoidosis of the lungs and skin. She is a wife, mother of two, daughter, sister, friend, and pet parent. Kristin received her BS degree in kinesiology from the University of Colorado. Before styling, Kristin was honored to stay at home with her two wonderful kids. Kristin has called many places home; California, Germany, Texas, Pennsylvania, Seattle WA, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, and Maine. Kristin now resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and their beloved pup Snoopy. When it's cold out, Kristin can be found warming up down south in Paradise Valley Arizona.
Laura W., Community Outreach Leader
Laura was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in September 2019. Since then, she has experienced evidence of the disease in her kidneys, eyes, and heart. Her journey to connect with and assemble the right medical team was challenged by uneducated and dismissive physicians as well as the emergence of the pandemic. As a public relations specialist for more than 25 years, Laura is excited to use her professional skills to support FSR in raising awareness about sarcoidosis and empowering patients. Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College. She is a founding member of the New England Chapter of the SHE RECOVERS® Foundation and a past president of the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. A lifelong Connecticut resident, Laura is a married mom of two. Laura shared her story in Episode 70 of the FSR Sarc Fighter podcast.
District of Columbia
Denise L., Community Group Leader
Denise graduated from the University of Cincinnati. She holds a B.S. in Education and a M.Ed in Administration and Supervision. She is also continuing to further her education in the Educational Doctoral Program at VA Tech. Denise has held a variety of positions in the realm of education, including but not limited to secondary administrative assistant, regional area teacher specialist, elementary school principal, regional area director, and more. Denise was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2016. Her joy for learning has always been her incentive to teach others about opportunities through education. She was influenced during her own grade school years by her mother and also by family friends who were educators. Education was a high priority in their culture.
Marsha H., Community Group Leader
Marsha was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 1995 while working as an Emergency Medical Technician for the D.C. Fire & EMS Services. Since the diagnosis, she has been faced with the incredible changes and challenges that have interfered with her life and the lives of her children and family. She began researching information and contacting online support groups, including FSR. Marsha began hosting Community Support Groups in 2015 and the first Exhale 4 Sarcoidosis DMV Awareness Walk in October 2020 followed by the Steps For Sarcoidosis Awareness Walk D.C. in 2021. The Awareness Walks allowed people to physically connect with other warriors and know that people care.
Debra T., Community Outreach Leader
After much testing, many new prescriptions and getting the "itching" under control, Debra received a diagnosis: Sarcoidosis of the Lungs and Livers. Debra learned and realized the drastic disruption that threatened her full and happy life, not only with her husband and life partner for 50 years, but also with her children, grandchildren and siblings who all depended on her daily engagement. She had never heard of such an "exotic" condition, especially among African Americans.
She credits her Pulmonologist, who guided her through the medical treatment and lifestyle plan. At the end of five years of treatment, sarcoidosis of Debra's lungs, liver and heart were in remission. Debra still manages the condition with non-steroid medications, a balanced diet and light exercise. Although semi-retired, her professional life has always included educating others and being a positive example as well as a mentor to many in her roles.
Renwick B., Community Group Leader
Renwick earned his Bachelor of Social Science degree in Economics and served as a research economist at the Central Bank of Guyana, South America. He emigrated to the United States at the age of 24, earned his MBA at Fordham University in New York City and spent several years working on Wall Street and in the financial services industry. He has been the recipient of multiple awards and accolades for outstanding contributions in the financial and performance improvement industries. Renwick engages his clients with a unique blend of creativity, strategy and wisdom to help individuals thrive while helping companies grow. Renwick was diagnosed with sarcoidosis 24 years ago. When he’s not at “Play for Pay” he’s out and about swimming, cycling, hiking or traveling with family and friends somewhere in the US or around the world.
Garrie F., Community Outreach Leader
Garrie is an FSR Patient Advocate. She has been managing pulmonary sarcoidosis, sarcoidosis arthropathy, and skin sarcoidosis for roughly 16 years. She sums up her experience like this, "I am living with sarcoidosis. We are frenemies. Exposing my geek side here, I call my immune system, Venom. As long as Venom has external enemies to fight, it leaves me alone and protects me. No enemies to fight, I become its food.” Garrie’s professional experience includes 16 years as an Applications Trainer for a nonprofit HMO that has its own medical staff. Garrie trains staff (new and current) on how to use the Electronic Health System along with SharePoint, Outlook, and applications that are developed in the company.
Heidi F., Community Group Leader
Heidi grew up in Ohio but spent much of her life in Hudson Valley of New York where she and her husband raised their three children. Heidi received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Ohio State University in 1980 and became a certified nurse paralegal after attending Capital Law School. Heidi’s career has given her opportunities to work at Ohio State University Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit, a neurology and sleep lab practice, school nursing and day camp nursing, claims and risk management for a healthcare liability insurance company, and two law firms. For the past 20 years she has specialized in medical malpractice defence cases.
Her husband David was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2022, prompting her to share her medical perspective and experience with other sufferers of the disease. Heidi loves meeting people. She teaches a dance and Pilates class at a local senior center.
Amy C., Community Group Leader
Amy is excited to work with the FSR Global Alliance to launch their first patient support group with Emory Clinic. Amy has been receiving her sarcoidosis care from Emory Clinic since the onset of her diagnosis in 2016. She hopes her experience as a nurse practitioner will provide clarity and expertise as a support group facilitator. Amy is currently loving her new job in palliative care. When she is not at work or at a doctor’s appointment, you can find Amy watching her sons on the baseball field or the stage. She may also be curled up with a good book and her dachshund or on a date night with her husband.
Julie A., Community Group Leader
Julie received a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and an MBA from Creighton University. She worked as a business analyst for a large financial institution in Nebraska for 14 years before relocating to Elmhurst, IL in 2006. Julie was diagnosed with sarcoidosis of the lungs and lymph nodes in July of 2020 and spent the next ten months meeting with specialists to understand the cause of her numerous unexplained symptoms. Navigating the onslaught of labs, tests, and appointments with specialists during a pandemic proved to be a challenge. Julie advocated for herself to obtain a diagnosis and treatment for what would be identified as sarcoid-induced damage to the autonomic and peripheral nervous systems.
Kristen V., Community Outreach Leader
Kristen is the vice president of Pharmacy and Retail Operations for Walgreen Co. She is responsible for translating business strategy into store execution activities across merchandising, marketing, supply chain, and IT. Kristen began her career at Walgreens in 1996 as an hourly team member in Joplin, Missouri. Since that time, she has held a variety of store and corporate positions across multiple, diverse geographies. Kristen is committed to advancing gender parity, advancing health equity and helping others through charitable giving. Through donations, volunteer work and inclusivity of other community leaders, she has proven to uphold the Walgreen’s motto of facilitating the development of “more joyful lives through better health”. Kristen was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2021. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO and a Master of Science, Health Administration degree from Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE.
Eric F., Community Outreach Leader
Three words that describe Eric: Compassionate, Inclusive, Loyal. Eric has been married to his wife Janice for 25 years and they have five children. He was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2022 after several years of declining health. Professionally Eric is responsible for helping organizations build inclusive cultures and helping employees unlock their full potential. As an avid photographer, Eric believes proper exposure is the main ingredient to people being able to see what is possible and beautiful. Eric’s personal and professional hallmark is helping people to live lives that flourish through practicing vulnerability, empathy, courage, and grace.
Sandhya V., Community Outreach Leader
Sandhya is a Registered Nurse and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Valley State University. She has a background in Orthopedics, Medical-Surgical medicine, General-Medicine, and Acute Oncology. Sandhya was recently diagnosed in October of 2022 with Pulmonary Sarcoidosis after two years of struggling with her symptoms. Thankfully she is doing well and is eager to learn more as she navigates this new aspect of her identity. Her recent diagnosis, although difficult has strongly motivated her to pursue her goals. She hopes to attain her Doctor of Nursing Practice and thus have a strong platform to help patients navigate and manage their chronic illnesses. Sandhya is dedicated to using her story to encourage others and create more awareness about this unpredictable multisystem disease.
Mary M., Community Group Leader
Mary is the Case Manager at Global Genes. She is the Co-Founder of MarylandRARE, a rare disease organization bringing together the rare disease community of Maryland. Previously, she worked at the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases as a Patient Engagement Consultant. She spearheaded the outreach for the Everylife Foundation Community Congress. She provided legislative advocacy coaching to rare disease advocates and provided support for the programs and events at EveryLife. Mary is also involved with FSR as a member of the Speaker Bureau, Civic Engagement Working Group, and a Patient Advocate. She is a rare disease patient living with multisystem sarcoidosis. Mary had been an ACE Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor for 20+ years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Massachusetts - Boston.
Ora R., Community Outreach Leader
Ora is a former broadcast media professional from Southern California. She has spent the last 15 years as a resident on the east coast where she has been recognized for her communications achievements and community outreach work involving youth and disadvantaged groups. Ora began experiencing unexplained shortness of breath and vision loss during her transition into a full-time education career. She was subsequently diagnosed with ocular and pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2012 on the cusp of a new marriage and motherhood. Now after more than ten years of managing life with sarcoidosis, Ora serves as an FSR Patient Advocate and is dedicated to sharing her story to encourage others living with this unpredictable, inflammatory condition.
Robin G., SPHR-SPC, Community Outreach Leader
Robin recently retired from Raytheon Technologies after 23 years where she was the Director of Human Resources for Raytheon Solipsys. In this role, Robin was responsible for leading Human Resources within Raytheon Solipsys, including compliance, talent management, learning and development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and wellness initiatives. In the Fall of 2020, Robin was diagnosed with Neurosarcoidosis. Though this has slowed her down, she continues to live her best life enjoying the good days and take the bad as they come. As a Patient Advocate with FSR, she is so grateful to connect with others and give back to the community. Robin holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Virginia Wesleyan College, a master’s degree in Administrative Management from Bowie State University and a master’s in Health and Wellness Coaching with a concentration in Nutrition from Maryland University for Integrative Health.
Theresa G., Community Group Leader
Theresa was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 1979. Since that time, it has also spread to her eyes, but she is grateful to report it has not caused blindness. Theresa is retired from an exciting career as a Teacher, School Counselor, Trainer, and School Administrator. These days, she finds joy as a part-time Psychotherapist. Theresa is proud to have both raised a daughter after her diagnosis, and find time to be a co-founder of a sarcoidosis support group for several years. She is a member of FSR’s Patient Advisory Committee since 2020.
Nancy H., Community Group Leader
Nancy brings decades of experience as a clinician in healthcare and passion for educating and helping people to the FSR Global Sarcoidosis Clinic Alliance Support Group Leader role. She was diagnosed with sarcoidosis by biopsy after undergoing a bronchoscopy and mediastinoscopy in 2010. It mainly affected her pulmonary system initially, with involvement of her lymphatic, ocular, cutaneous, and musculoskeletal systems over time. Her desire to communicate information, support others, and share valuable resources will be instrumental in community building for those living with sarcoidosis and their loved ones. It will allow patients to access critical services on their own journey, not only within the Alliance member clinic but also from FSR and beyond.
Michael S., Community Group Leader
Michael is an automotive engineer from Michigan and was diagnosed with pulmonary Sarcoidosis in 2016. He loves to travel and spend time outdoors. While his diagnosis has limited the types of activities he can still enjoy, he is always searching for ways to get closer to nature and see new and exciting destinations. Michael is involved in other groups that put a focus on community improvement through charitable giving and volunteerism. He strongly believes in the benefits of giving back.
Keonna B., Community Outreach Leader
Keonna is 26 years old. She has 4 sisters, one of whom is her twin. She currently works as a maintenance technician and also does a little home care. She is also currently in school for business management. Keonna intends to obtain her associates by 2025 and to find a new career path. She enjoys maintenance because it challenges her. Keonna has been a caregiver and supporter to someone living with sarcoidosis for 4 years. She loves being able to do something that she didn’t think she could accomplish initially. Keonna is eager to do work that is a little less hard on the body and that feeds the soul.
Debora N., Community Group Leader
Debora is one of the new FSR-GSCA Volunteer Community Group Leader working with University of Mississippi Medical Center. She grew up most of her life in the Mississippi Delta but has been residing in the Jackson - Byram, Mississippi area for about 20 years. She has been a survivor of Pulmonary Sarcoidosis since 2018. Multiple flare-ups and the loss vision during COVID, she later was diagnosed with Neuro Sarcoidosis during 2020. Deeply devoted to serving infants, toddlers, preschoolers, teachers and parents, Debora continued to work in the Early Childhood Field as an Education Specialists and Education Coach in Head Start. She has dedicated over 22 years in this career.
Bridget K., Community Outreach Leader
Bridget was born in New York. She has experience working as a benefits Consultant and currently works as an independent travel consultant for a locally owned travel agency. She married Chris Kelly in 1998 and have two children: Kendall and Gavin. Bridget was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 2008. Bridget’s health problems began in 2003, but did not slow her down. She volunteered for school events, campaigned for town elections, and co-founded the Mayor’s Youth Task Force to get local teens involved in volunteer projects. In her spare time, she enjoys watching sports, reading, and being active when possible. Her favorite days are spent with family and filled with laughter.
Judy S., Community Outreach Leader
Judy was born and grew up in Brooklyn. She currently resides in South Florida for 6 months of the year and then resides in Brooklyn for 6 months of the year. She received her education in Economics and Political Science as an undergraduate and obtained an MS in Statistics as well. She has worked in pharmaceutical sales as a sales representative and district manager. She also has experience as a programmer for several major companies. Her hobbies include travel, golf, and socializing with friends. Judy was diagnosed with sarcoidosis 1.5 years ago.
Leticia S., Community Group Leader
Leticia is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner for a cancer center. She values relationships with patients, allowing her to deliver empathetic and compassionate care daily. She is a strong advocate for patient education and plays an active role in advancing patient care. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Binghamton University, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Rutgers’s University.
Leticia has lived with sarcoidosis for the past 18 years. Unfortunately, it took 10 years of being treated with steroids and antibiotics, and a lesion on her eyelid, which led to a formal diagnosis of sarcoidosis. This disease affects her sinuses, tear ducts, skin, lungs and lymph nodes. Leticia looks forward to helping her peers navigate sarcoidosis education, research and access to quality care.
Susan R., Community Group Leader
Susan was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2002, after an incidental finding on a chest x-ray. In 2003 she found herself struggling with obstructive tear ducts and chronic sinus infections which resulted in multiple surgeries from 2006-2017. During this time, she went from Specialist to Specialist seeking answers and solutions. In 2009 she found the left side of her face numb; an MRI revealed a brain lesion effecting the trigeminal nerve, leaving her to date with painful facial neuropathy. Susan has sought treatment at various Sarcoidosis Centers of Excellence from Mount Sinai, NYC, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, Maryland University Hospital, and currently at HSS, NYC.
Susan works fulltime as a Patient Advocate/Liaison in an acute care hospital. She looks forward to lending her experience in aiding others on their journey to finding wellness.
Cheryl B., Community Outreach Leader
Cheryl was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2001. September will mark five years since her disability retirement from the NYC Department of Education. She holds a degree in business administration. Cheryl is an FSR Advocate, Patient Navigator, and serves on the FSR Women of Color Committee (WOCC). Cheryl is a Patient Ambassador for interstitial lung disease (ILD) at Snow Companies/ Boehringer Ingelheim (BI). Her story was published in the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Patient Voices and featured in a documentary called Beyond Breathless. She appeared in “Balancing Act: “Behind the Mystery” on LifeTime and will be featured in “Tune In To Lung Health” a resource to inspire and support people in their journeys with ILD.
Mary T., Community Outreach Leader
Mary has lived with sarcoidosis since 1989. She is the mother of two married daughters and has 5 grandchildren who range in ages from 6-12. She lives with her significant other of 28 years. Mary is a retired School and District level administrator with 43 years of experience in the field of elementary education. She has taught almost all elementary and special education grades. She has also provided teachers and parents with many educational enrichment opportunities, written curriculum, and provided staff development in the implementation of said curriculum. Mary enjoys her many long-standing friendships, spending time with family, writing and reading biographies and autobiographies. She also enjoys assisting individuals with the preparation of college admissions essays.
Alisia G., Community Group Leader
Alisia is 60 years old and a survivor of pulmonary sarcoidosis. Alisia had Grave disease at the same time she was experiencing sarcoidosis. Both her Grave disease and pulmonary sarcoidosis went into remission at the same time. It has taken a long time for Alisia to feel whole again since struggling with both diseases. She loves to dance and feels that her life is just beginning.
Keyanna E., Community Outreach Leader
Keyanna is a single mother of four amazing children- two boys and two girls. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's degree in Criminology Pre-law with the intent to be a judge one day. Keyanna also has her Associates and has started a business called Soulful Sensations LLC. In her free time she loves to cook, sing, and be out in nature when possible. She grew up in Pennsylvania but is currently living in Ohio. Keyanna is passionate about helping people; she loves to go above and beyond for people to show that the world can still be good. She was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2021. Once Keyanna puts her mind to a task, she can accomplish anything.
Linda W., Community Outreach Leader
Linda has sarcoidosis of the heart and lungs. After receiving her diagnosis, she retired as a pastor and director of an inner-city church in Dayton, Ohio. Initially, misdiagnosis nearly cost her life. When she went to Cleveland Clinic in December 2019, diagnosis was swift and treatment began immediately.
Sarcoidosis may have set her back but she enthusiastically uses her voice to advocate for others with this disease. She believes the lack of knowledge of sarcoidosis is a hindrance to the discovery of a cure.
Jenail W., Community Group Leader
Jenail received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Phoenix. Her career as a home mortgage loan consultant and as a wireless support representative was her motivation for Aging and Living Sensibility of geriatric care. She believes intellect leads to passion, which is essential for leaders to inspire others.
Jenail had a recurring small lesion on her nose, that would not heal, a biopsy was performed. The diagnosis was cutaneous sarcoidosis in August 2018. Although there is no cure for the disease, she is grateful to her healthcare team who monitors her condition and treats the symptoms.
Kapri S., Community Group Leader
Kapri is a Store Manager at Footlocker INC. She is also college studying Human Resource Management. One of Kapri’s long-term goals are to start a nonprofit organization. Her most recent achievement is receiving Coach of the Year at her work. She enjoys mentoring and helping others. She is a great listener and enjoys volunteering her time. Kapri was diagnosed with sarcoidosis two years ago and is excited to bring her experience into the Community Outreach Leader role.
Theresa S., Community Group Leader
Theresa was born and raised in Philadelphia. Theresa was diagnosed with sarcoidosis 32 years ago. She is the 4th of 7 children. Theresa was widowed and unable to have children, but is pleased to be "aunty-mom" to more than 40 nieces and nephews. She loves to sing but only in the shower. Her standout pastime is watching "in the stadium" baseball. Her talents and accomplishments are still evolving. Theresa is an optimist, wanting to be not only half-full or half-empty, but rather positive about everything.
Chasta P., Community Outreach Leader
Chasta is from Greenville, SC. She is a 18 year THRIVER of sarcoidosis. Having this illness caused Chasta to reroute her life. She is now a 7 year Patient Advocate for FSR. Being a part of FSR has allowed her to become a Patient Advocate, Peer Mentor, Patient Navigator & member of the inaugural Women of Color Committee. She’s also done work with the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and is currently in collaboration with the Susan Pearlstine Center of Excellence on the campus of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)! Chasta loves helping people. She is very passionate about helping other patients find their voice for the cause. Being a charismatic voice for the voiceless, she brings education & awareness to others so that patients advocate for themselves.
Patricia R., Community Outreach Leader
Patricia is the youngest of three children. She was educated in the Jasper County School System and went on to earn her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina- Columbia and later a Masters’ Degree in Public Health. She also has a masters’ degree in in Business Administration from Benedictine University. Patricia was employed as a Quality Control Analyst/Chemist for 14 years. In March of 2005, after four months of numerous tests and specialists, she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis via a liver biopsy. She is focused on improving my health and quality of life while assisting others. She is an avid reader, a singer, a health and wellness advocate, caregiver and a mother to an angel. In her spare time, she tutors struggling students. Patricia’s first book “35 Cents” will be finished this year.
Sharon B., Community Group Leader
Three words to describe Sharon: Unique, Compassionate, Good listener. Sharon was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is single with two adult children, one grandson and one Goddaughter. She has been employed in the Insurance field for the past 20+ years. She is an avid reader who loves making wreaths and going to brunch with family and friends. She was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in July 2017. Right now, her sarcoidosis is inactive, and she is working very hard to keep it that way. Sharon loves being near the water and watching the sunrise or sunset, just taking in the beauty and majesty of a day beginning or ending. She loves traveling.
Trisel D., Community Group Leader
Trisel is married and has three children. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 1984 and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1990. She has worked as an occupational therapist in the following areas: adult inpatient rehab and acute care, home health with both adults and children, public, private and charter schools, early childhood intervention program, the state school. She also worked as an instructor in an occupational assistant program. She has prior experience facilitating parent support groups and patient/family support groups. She also was co-facilitator with the Janine Sarcoidosis Outreach Foundation ( JSOF). She currently serves as a Lay Minister Chaplain for Houston Methodist Hospital. Trisel was diagnosed with sarcoidosis 17 years ago. She published a book in 2020 titled “ Take This Cup, My Journey Through Accepting My Chronic Illness.
Lee D., Community Group Leader
Lee has lived in Texas for over 45 years, 30 of which have been in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Lee currently works in sales at Arrow Electronics in the media division. Lee has spent his 29-year career working in advertising, corporate marketing and sales. Lee was diagnosed with Cardiac Sarcoidosis 3 months ago after having 3 years of electrical issues with his heart.
Unique G., Community Group Leader
Unique is currently living with sarcoidosis. She was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in June 2019 and currently has sarcoidosis of the lymph nodes, skin, and lungs. In Unique’s free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, spending time with family, and watching documentaries and true crime. Unique works at a Fortune 500 as a commodities analyst, where she has worked for 8 years. She is engaged to a wonderful fiancé and will be getting married July of 2023.
Sandee H., Community Outreach Leader
Sandee was diagnosed in 2017 after having a biopsy that confirmed sarcoidosis in the bones of her spine. She compares that feeling to standing alone in the middle of a snowstorm. Sandee had mistakenly been told that she had cancer and spent many months seeking answers daily at the Cancer Center. She was very sick last year but found that being engaged with FSR helped. Sandee wanted to be a part of what is happening at FSR. She is excited at the opportunity to learn, contribute, and feel calmer about having sarcoidosis. The snowstorm feeling does still exist at times, however, thanks to FSR Sandee feels that she has many tools to help herself and her family feel better.
Brenda H., Community Group Leader
Brenda is from Evanston, IL. She was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in April, 1989. She enjoys volunteering with FSR and serves on the Patient Advisory Council, and as a Patient Ambassador, Patient Advocate, and Patient Navigator. She has established and facilitated multiple sarcoidosis support groups since 1991. She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Self Help groups, and a master's degree in Human Services/Counseling from National-Louis University. Brenda says, “Through the years that I have dealt with this disease, I have come from deep despair to considering sarcoidosis as a gift of enlightenment to education the public.”
Sherron F., Community Outreach Leader
Sherron is a divorced mother of two beautiful daughters and one grandson. Sherron was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 1997. She is an Executive Assistant to the Administrators office at the Federal Aviation Administration, the Ambassador for Domestic violence, and Sexual Assaulted people. She is also a golfer, producer, and host of her own public access show. She is active in the political arena. In her spare time, she serves as an official for basketball and dedicates time to mentoring young women and men.
Darlene S., Community Outreach Leader
Darlene is a writer and visual artist whose work explores corporeal presentations of trauma and the violence of silence, especially in Black girls. Her writing has been supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Delaware Division of the Arts, USArts Alliance, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Vermont Studio Center among others. Scott’s writing appears in numerous literary journals. She is the author of the poetry collection, Marrow which reimagines people lost in a mass murder-suicide at the Guyanese settlement of the Peoples Temple founded by James "Jim" Jones and popularly known as Jonestown, and she co-edited the creative-critical volume Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era. Scott has also exhibited her artwork on the “good girl” widely.
Inez R., Community Group Leader
Inez has a background in administrative assistance and customer service. She has held sales positions in the trucking industry (UPS Freight) and banking industry (Wells Fargo). In addition, Inez has a mental health & substance abuse certification. She has also authored five books and is in the process of writing several others.
Jessica S., Community Group Leader
Jessica is a mother of 3, grandparent of 2 and has been married for 23 years. Her sarcoidosis symptoms started in April of 2020; she was diagnosed at WVU that November. After multiple surgeries and medications, she was declared in remission in May of 2022. Jessica is very excited to join FSR as a volunteer and help support other patients with this disease.
Unaffiliated Community Groups
Jeannie B., Community Group Leader
Jeannie graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. She has worked in profession of accounting for 50 years. Jeannie was elected County Auditor of Grand Forks County North Dakota and served for two 2-year terms. She operated her own Bookkeeping and Accounting Service for 15 years. She lives in California and is retired. She has remained active at the retirement home where she lives, serving for 3 years on the Board of Trustees. She is the first resident in 120 years to hold that position and the first woman be on the Board of Trustees. She is an active Square Dancer and is also active in her church and fraternal organization. She has been married to her 4th husband for 2 years. She is someone living with Sarcoidosis and is excited to continue helping others in their Sarcoidosis journey along with FSR.
Sabrina S., Community Group Leader
Sabrina was diagnosed with sarcoidosis of the skin in June 2011. In April of 2012, she became the founder of Southwest Louisiana Sarcoidosis Support Group, which has been going strong ever since. 2020 would have been her 4th Annual Sarcoidosis Awareness 5K, and she’s been a Patient Advocate with FSR since March 2016. A fun fact about Sabrina is she was a Big Sister in the program Big Brothers Big Sisters and has had the same Little for 13 years. She describes it as a wonderful experience.
Rebecca J., Community Group Leader
Rebecca is 75-years old. She has been happily married for 52 wonderful years. Rebecca did not have children, but enjoyed 32 years as a mathematics teacher. She was honored as Teacher of the Year for the Portsmouth Public School System. Rebecca is active in her church and serves as a deaconess, church clerk and choir. Rebecca has served as Vacation Bible School Director for 32 years and as a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) Group Leader for 13-years. She holds lifetime membership in Portsmouth Chapter of Norfolk State University Alumni Association and 25 years with the Portsmouth Chapter of Delicados, Inc. Rebecca has been a pulmonary sarcoidosis patient since 2005. In 2009 with the support of FSR and her church, she established The Tri-Cities Sarcoidosis Support Group. She is looking forward to growing with FSR and serving with others who are affected by this disease.