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Officers and Directors

As specified by its By-Laws, SCTA is managed by a Board of Directors that receives no compensation. This group of nine volunteers, each of them a spinal cord tumor survivor, was formed from those members of the Spinal Cord Tumor Support organization who met under the leadership of founder Robert Green in Conyers, Ga. in May 2003 to lay the groundwork for his vision to move the organization to official not-for-profit status.

Beyond their personal spinal cord tumor history and experience, Board members bring a wide variety of professional and life skills to the table. With members each fulfilling a specific function on the Board, they are further dispersed in permanent and ad hoc committees to work in a more concentrated fashion on specific tasks.

The SCTA Board also has a separate Advisory Board, comprised of medical practitioners and experts from other fields, who generously agree to lend their considerable expertise to advance the efforts of SCTA in the service of its members.

As Board members are geographically as broadly dispersed as the Support Group participants at large, and, due to prohibitive travel expense, Board Meetings are held by teleconference on the second Tuesday of every month. Minutes of the meetings are duly recorded and a matter of public record.

Board Members

Linda Stophel – President/ Director / Co-founder of SCT Support Group

Linda was born and raised in Northwestern Florida , where she still makes her home today. 2009 marks the 15th anniversary of her personal ordeal with a spinal cord tumor, which has been the inspiration for the origin of this organization and its positive function in the lives of fellow victims. Having been stricken with an Intramedullary Ependymoma at the young age of 29 and finding no available source of information as to what the future might hold, she became determined to identify and contact other survivors. Her persistence led her to Robert Green and their collaboration has given rise to a worldwide organization on the Internet, leading to the birth of SCTA as a non-profit corporation. Personifying kindness and gentle encouragement, Linda’s unflagging faith in God, characterized by her “signature” Bible verse: “…and we know that all thing work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28), allows her to urge those who might otherwise lose hope to find that there is a good and productive life on the other side of an encounter with SCT.

Ida Bostian – Vice President / Director

In the year 2000, Ida had just finished law school and was completing a judicial clerkship in Salt Lake City, when she was diagnosed with extensive Myxopapillary Ependymomas, slow growing tumors that started at the base of the spine and worked their way up (disseminated) through her lumbar, thoracic and lower cervical spinal column. That same year, she had two extensive surgeries to ‘de-bulk’ the tumors. After receiving conflicting medical opinions, she elected not to have radiation or chemotherapy. In the years since, she has continued to monitor her condition through regular MRIs; happily, the remaining tumors have not grown in this time. Although she ‘looks normal,’ i.e. has no noticeable mobility deficits, she continues to struggle with issues caused by her tumor and the surgeries, the most challenging of which has been chronic pain. In her professional life, Ida recently shifted from teaching law school to writing fiction and memoir. A short piece detailing part of her SCT experience, entitled “My Whole World Upside Down,” was recently published in Bethesda Magazine (online) at http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Magazine/July-August-2012/Winning-Words/My-Whole-World-Upside-Down/. Ida and her husband Brad currently live in the Washington, DC area.

Missy Mandel – Secretary / Director / Canadian Affairs

Missy, a native of Toronto , Ontario , Canada holds a B.A. in Psychology from York University ( Toronto ) and a Graduate Degree in Education from The University of Toronto. Prior to her being diagnosed with an Intramedullary Ependymoma, at C1-C2 in 2002, she enjoyed a successful career as an elementary teacher for eleven years. Missy is very active in health advocacy projects and makes a significant contribution to SCTA, welcoming those who are newly diagnosed and in her most recent role of Secretary and Director of Canadian Affairs. She lives in Toronto with her husband Howard, two lovely daughters and 3 happy pets.

Jack Kivik – Chairman / Director / Assistant Canadian Affairs

Jack holds a Business Management Diploma from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto . His working career spans over two decades in the motorcoach transportation industry, specializing in international inbound tourism to North America . Having gained experience as a senior marketing manager in a large corporate environment, Jack established his own tour transportation business in 2000, which regrettably succumbed in 2002 to the devastating aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. His diagnosis of and surgery to treat an Intramedullary Ependymoma also occurred in 2002. Jack is currently a self-employed marketing consultant and resides in Toronto , Ontario , Canada . Jack’s personal interests include music (particularly choral and organ), travel, film and literature.

Joanne Glosser Jaeger – Director / Assistant Secretary

Joanne is a lifelong New Yorker, born in the Bronx and now residing In Yonkers, and therefore an avid NY Yankees fan. She is married with two children, Jesse, and Juliana, whom she holds to be of the highest importance in her life. Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Anthropology from Queens College , CUNY, Joanne chose a career in Financial Services as she has a flair for business process improvement and is dedicated to accuracy. She has worked in the field for over 20 years and is currently Marketing Communications Manager with a mutual fund company in Manhattan . Prior to her experience with a spinal cord tumor, Joanne enjoyed an active lifestyle with her family, including bike riding, skiing and hiking. The surgical removal of a fibrous ependymoma in June, 1999 left her without proprioception in her left leg and re-learning how to walk. However, her encounter with SCT has led her to seek out and connect with fellow survivors in a supportive role and, to our benefit, to the SCTA Board. Joanne names New York architecture and history, needlework,
crafting, and US travel among her hobbies, while she keeps up with her children’s’ activities.

Jeff Mizell – Webmaster / Director

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Appalachian State University and a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology from Virginia Tech. He currently holds a position as an Instructional Designer and a Quality Control Representative building courseware for the Department of Defense. Jeff also consults with a software company based out of Atlanta Georgia performing Quality Assurance and writing online help documentation. He lives in the coastal region of North Carolina and is married to his loving wife Melissa and they have two boys, Elijah and Jacob. Jeff was diagnosed in March of 2006 with an intramedullary Ependemoma and cyst from C5-C7. He underwent surgery at Emory Hospital in Atlanta Georgia in May 2006. Two-thirds of the tumor was resected followed by 6 weeks of radiation treatments. Jeff discovered the SCTA website prior to his surgery and has been very grateful for the information and support he has received. In his spare time, Jeff has picked up “Chicken farming” as a hobby. He enjoys raising a variety of chicken breeds and providing fresh eggs to people in his community.

Advisory Board

Scott Klein –  Advisory Board

Dr. Klein is a native of Michigan and received his early education in his birthplace of Grand Rapids . He holds a B.S. Degree in Biology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor , where he was Phi Kappa and a James B. Angell Scholar. He went on to complete Medical School at the same institution, with honors of Alpha Omega Alpha in 1975. He took his Internship at University of Oregon Health Sciences Center ( Portland ), a Residency in Surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital ( Ann Arbor , MI ) and his Residency in Urology at Baylor College of Medicine ( Houston , TX ). He was certified by the American Board of Urology in February 1984.

Dr. Klein is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Urological Association (National) and other prominent organizations, and has published extensively in his specialty. He is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Medical School (Madison) and the University of Wisconsin ( La Crosse ). He resides in La Crosse , Wisconsin with his wife Georgia and their children Todd and Tyler.

Fraser Cummins Henderson, M.D. – Medical Advisor, USA

Professor Fraser Henderson, M.D., is Co-Director of the Lombardi Division of Neuro-Oncology and Childhood Cancer, Director of Neurosurgery of the Spine and Craniocervical Junction, Medical Director of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit and step-down units, and Co- Director of CyberKnife Radiosurgery at Georgetown University Hospital .

Dr. Henderson’s medical experience began as Task Force Medical Officer for the Multi-National Peace-keeping Force in Beirut , Lebanon in 1983. Commander Henderson served as Brigade Neurosurgeon for the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade during the First Gulf War. He was Director of Neurosurgery of the Spine and Craniocervical Junction at Bethesda Naval Hospital until 1994, when he assumed the same position at Georgetown University .

Professor Henderson has made over 60 scientific presentations and published over 40 articles in professional journals and textbooks on neurosurgery issues, with a focus on tumors and the spine. He holds four patents for medical devices to promote fusion and stabilization in the spine, for stereotactic radiosurgery of the spine, and for a computational assessment of injury to the spinal cord and brainstem. His current research includes work on P75 proteomics, new paradigms for spinal stereotactic radiosurgery, and subacute axonopathy in congenital and acquired medullospinal kyphosis.

Dr. Henderson received his medical degree from the University of Virginia.

He received his training in general surgery at the Naval Regional Medical Center , Portsmouth , Virginia , and in neurosurgery at the Medical University of South Carolina, with Phanor Perot.  In 1992 he was the International Spine and Craniocervical Fellow under Professor Crockard, The National Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square , London .

Dr. Henderson holds membership in a number of professional associations including the Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Washington Academy of Neurosurgeons and the AANS/CNS sections for Tumors, Spine and Peripheral Nerves and Trauma and Critical Care.

George Jallo, M.D. – Medical Advisor, USA

Doctor George Jallo graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed his neurosurgical residency training at NYU-Bellevue Hospital Medical Center . Dr. Jallo received fellowship training in pediatric neurosurgery under Dr. Fred Epstein. He honed his skills for all intradural tumors under Dr. Epstein’s tutelage.  He recently joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins Hospital .

His clinical interests include tumors (brain, brainstem, spine and skull base), craniofacial diseases, and complex spine disorders in children and young adults. He has developed several new techniques for the delicate removal of  brainstem and spinal cord tumor.  This has allowed him to remove tumors considered inoperable by others.  He lectures frequently about this topic.

Dr. Jallo’s clinical research focuses on computer technology and neurosurgery. He is investigating the role of image-guided surgery for intracranial tumors and diseases. His research involves image-guided navigational systems and intraoperative MRI. Dr. Jallo’s other clinical interests involve new treatment modalities for diffuse inoperable tumors in children and adults. He is currently developing several models that will allow him to pioneer new and innovative treatments. This laboratory research includes local delivery of target agents, in attempt to inhibit the growth of these diffuse tumors.

Dr. Jallo is the author of many scientific articles and chapters on brain and spinal cord tumors. He sits on several journal editorial boards including Spine Universe, Child’s Nervous System, and the Annals of Neurosurgery.

Nadiia Arora, N.D. – Medical Advisor, USA

Nadiia Arora is a naturopathic physician in Washington DC . She graduated from Bastyr University in Seattle with the degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.  Dr. Arora is a primary care physician with the specialized training in natural medicine. Her focus is family medicine and adjunct care for oncology patients.

Dr. Arora also serves on the board of directors for Kromosoft, a genetics research company based in Seattle . She directs the company’s research department and is a medical writer for their weekly newsletter, KromoNews. She is a principal investigator in a study of Genetics of Spinal Cord Tumors, which Kromosoft is currently undertaking. The aim of the study is to determine the presence of oncogenes in spinal cord tumors. As oncogenes are typically associated with accelerated tumor growth and higher potential for malignancy, their detection in a patient with a spinal cord tumor would assist oncologists and surgeons in initiation of more aggressive treatment early.  This could ultimately lead to a better survival of spinal cord tumors.

Nadiia Arora is a regular speaker at the SCT conferences. During July 2002 conference, she spoke about manual therapies and benefits of such therapies for spinal cord tumor survivors and their families.  In July 2004, she presented her findings on alternative therapies, such as immunologic treatments for cancer and useof botanical treatments in rehabilitation process.  During August 2006 conference, Dr. Arora spoke about naturopathic medicine as a valuable modality in the co-management of cancer patients. She presented information regarding benefits of naturopathic treatments in terms of improving survival and recovery from cancer, as well as prevention of recurrence.

Eric M. Massicotte, MD, MSc, FRCSC – Medical Advisor, Canada

A graduate of the University of Ottawa School of Medicine in 1995, Dr. Massicotte entered the Neurosurgical Training Program at the University of Manitoba in 1995 until 1999, at which time he transferred to the University of Toronto to complete his neurosurgical training. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2001. During his time in Manitoba , Dr. Massicotte completed a Master in Science with the department of surgery. His research focused on white matter changes in the rat model. In order to further his interest in spine he undertook a fellowship year at the Toronto Western Hospital under the direction of Dr. Michael Fehlings and Dr. Charles Tator. He is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, and member of the Division of Neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital . His clinical practice focuses on spine with research interests in outcome measures and guidelines as well as medical education.

Kelli Young, M.Ed., B.Sc.O.T., Dip C.G.P.A – Medical Advisor, Canada

Kelli is a native of Toronto Canada .  She is a registered occupational therapist and also practices as a psychotherapist and sex therapist.  Kelli holds an academic teaching appointment with the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto . She currently works full-time in the Eating Disorders Program at the Toronto General Hospital .  As an occupational therapist, Kelli is concerned with assisting clients to overcome barriers and maximize their functional independence in their activities of daily living.  She regards sexuality as a fundamental aspect of being human, and her clinical work involves helping clients to resume full and satisfying sexual expression and relationships.

Kelli has a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of Toronto .  She also recently completed a “Certificate Program in Couple and Family Therapy Studies” through the University of Guelph and the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Western Ontario in 1992.  Kelli also holds a diploma in group psychotherapy from the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association.  She has extensive training in sex therapy, including completing the “Intensive Sex Therapy Training Institute” and the “Advanced Training Program in Treating Female Sexual Dysfunction” at the University of Guelph .  Kelli is an accomplished workshop presenter, and she has lectured widely both in Canada and the U.S.

Kelli lives in Toronto with her husband, Steven and her two daughters, Emily and Juliet.