Staff and volunteers organize brain donations, serve as subject-matter-experts at support group meetings, produce our events, develop and maintain this web site, and manage our information technology systems. A few of our staff and volunteers are listed here. Contact us ([email protected]) if you would like to join the team!
Steven Russell, Brain Donation Specialist and Director of Finance, joined the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community in the San Francisco Bay Area when his late father, David, was diagnosed with PD in 1993. In 2007, after his father’s passing, Steven joined the non‐profit’s board, serving as Board Secretary. Steven joined the BSN board in 2012 as a founding member and as our first Treasurer. Earlier, Steven’s career was in corporate travel management, including recruiting, training, contract negotiations, and customer service.
Adrian Quintero, Brain Donation Specialist, works with families nationwide to coordinate brain donations. Adrian is a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern with experience in the field of grief and loss. He cared for his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, in 2007. Adrian received a Master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2012, and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Film/Video from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2000.
Arif Hasan, Brain Donation Specialist, works with families nationwide to coordinate brain donations. He is the primary person performing outreach to funeral homes, pathologists, and other service providers. Arif also maintains BSN’s databases and archives of people and organizations with whom BSN has worked. He is a student at the University of San Francisco and has worked with BSN since August 2013.
Alexa Knight, Former Caregiver, Support Group Meeting Facilitator, cared for her mother, diagnosed with LBD, for 7 years until her death in 2011. Alexa has a strong medically related background and was very involved both in her day-to-day care and in medical decisions with her mother’s doctor, including medication regimens. Alexa’s mother donated her brain to Mayo Clinic and she was found to have almost pure LBD.
Bari Cornet, Former Caregiver, Support Group Meeting Facilitator, joined the Lewy Body Dementia caregiver support group in 2011, after her late mother was diagnosed with LBD. She is an occasional facilitator of the LBD discussions at BSN support group meetings. Bari has special expertise in supporting those giving care from a distance and holds degrees in public health (MPH) and social work (MSW).
Candy Welch, Former Caregiver, Support Group Meeting Facilitator, joined BSN in 2005 and was the first meeting facilitator for MSA. Candy cared for her husband, Bob, who was diagnosed with MSA in December 2002, until he died in 2008 at the age of 57. She has continued to volunteer as primary support group organizer, support group MSA discussion facilitator, and BSN event coordinator.
Denise Dagan, Former Caregiver, Support Group Meeting Facilitator, Event Coordinator, joined the caregiver support group in 2009 and coordinated discussion of Lewy Body Dementia at group meetings. She was a caregiver for her father, Harry, who passed away in 2013. Denise has helped organize several BSN events in Northern California.
Dianne Weitzel, Former Caregiver, Support Group Meeting Facilitator, Event Speaker, joined BSN’s Lewy Body Dementia caregiver support group in 2010, after her late husband, Gary, was diagnosed with LBD. Dianne is the primary facilitator of the discussion at BSN’s LBD caregiver-only group meetings. She has spoken about caregiving for LBD at caregiver symposia co-organized by BSN.
Helen Medsger, Caregiver, Former Board Member, Event Speaker, is the primary caregiver for her sister, Maureen. Helen joined BSN in 2008, after Maureen’s initial diagnosis of MSA. Their late father, Andrew, also had LBD. Helen is a former BSN board member, speaks about caregiving at various conferences, is a member of the Family Advisory Council at UCSF’s Memory & Aging Center, and runs an LBD support group in Santa Rosa, CA.
Kevin Boyd supports BSN’s Information Technology infrastructure, choosing and maintaining the hosting and serving infrastructure for the web site and other on-line infrastructure.
Lily Shih joined BSN in 2005 and was a meeting facilitator for MSA. Lily cared for her mother, Kathy, who was diagnosed with MSA in 1997, until she died in May 2007 at the age of 65. Lily has continued to volunteer as support group MSA discussion facilitator, blogger on BSN’s Facebook page, and volunteer at BSN events. Lily is a director of the Kathy Shih Memorial Foundation and CureMSA, which support MSA research.
Sharon Reichardt Walker, Former Board Secretary, Former Caregiver, joined the San Francisco Bay Area PSP Support Group in 2004, following the diagnosis of her late husband, Dennis, in 2002. Sharon has been an active participant in the caregiver support group meetings, managing the discussion among PSP caregivers. Sharon joined the BSN board in 2012 as a founding member, and served through August 2016.
William Evans supports BSN’s Information Technology infrastructure, procuring equipment and managing software licenses. Bill also develops applications for financial reporting.