Meet the Committee: Sacramento Brain Freeze

Saturday, October 23, 2021, Virtual | Broadcasting from Boston, MA

The Volunteer Planning Committee is the backbone of the National Brain Freeze.  It consists of a dynamic group of incredible volunteers that work closely with NBTS Staff to bring this annual event to fruition. If you are interested in learning more and possibly joining our team, email Jenifer Prentiss at Meetings take place on a monthly basis on via conference call.

Christine Jordan, Team Name: Team Robert

In Nov 2016 my son Robert, 27, had a gran mal seizure and after an MRI, it was determined he had a brain tumor. He is doing very well now. It’s important to me to support and be involved in NBTS events because the research process gives hope that one day a cure will be found.

Courtney Gessford, Team Name: Team Courtney

I was diagnosed with a grade II astrocytoma in July 2014. After nearly 4 years of combination chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and multiple brain surgeries I have been stable since May 2018. The NBTS advocates for all people touched by a brain tumor through fundraising, education, public policy efforts and so much more. They fund cutting edge research nationwide at the medical centers and facilities that are working towards new and improved therapies. I will continue to fight for my fellow humans that are facing challenges related to brain tumors for as long as I possibly can.

Dan Zasloff, Team Name: Team Eden

In the summer of 2016, my wife Eden was diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma after suffering a grand mal seizure. I had just taken over on a long drive home from celebrating our 18th anniversary. As parents of two teenage girls, we felt like there was some unexplainable assistance. Four years and many treatments and side effects later – surgery, radiation, chemo x2 – Eden continues to fight and provide inspiration for me and our family and friends. Participating with NBTS gives me an opportunity to give back to the community.

Diana Walsh, Team Name: Team Norman

In January of 2016 a mass was discovered on my brother, Norman’s, brain. My brother was 53 with so much life still to be lived. I spent a great deal of time caring for my brother in the last 4 months of his life. This experience changed my life forever and I want to do what I can to support the cause for discovering a cure.

Diane Lahola, Team Name: Allison & Neva

On March 28, 1998, when Allison was 15 years old, our world changed – she was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma. She passed on March 29, 1999, a week after her 16th birthday.  Then Neva’s (Allison’s cousin) world changed in 2003 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 29 years old. She passed on March 10, 2016. Both Allison and Neva were incredible hearts and have inspired me to be part of NBTS and support better treatments and ultimately a cure.

Jon Kantola, Team Name: EveryDay Left

My sister Karyn was diagnosed with a glioblastoma tumor in October 2012 at the age of 43, just as she was starting a work sabbatical to invest time in her two young children. She was forced to instead dedicate her time fighting “the beast in her brain” with two surgeries, chemo, radiation, and a vaccine trial. If Karyn were still alive, she’d be fundraising and advocating for a cure. Since she’s not…I’m working for her.

Mara Rempe

My oldest sister Lissa passed away in 2009 from brain cancer. Our family has participated in the San Francisco Bay Area for a number of years, so I was excited to be part of the planning committee when NBTS came to Seattle. Only by funding research can a cure for brain tumors be found. Events like this allow us to support and celebrate survivors and those living with brain tumors, honor and remember those we have lost all while raising money to beat the disease.

Shawn Drennan

My husband was diagnosed Jan 2018 with GBM. He passed away Mar 24, 2020. He was 50 years old, a brilliant supply chain executive in the biopharma space, a submarine veteran, a Duke Alumni, a father of 1 daughter, and became a grandfather of 1 – 4 months after he passed. The world lost a great man this year. I want to make sure that all necessary resources get into the hands of the teams that will ultimately stop anyone else from walking our path.

In Memory of Committee Member, Cullen…

Cullen Crackel, Team Name: Crackelacking

“I’m 32 years old and was diagnosed with a glioblastoma. Recently my wife and I had our first child, Flint. It’s important to me to be involved with NBTS to pave the way for a healthy future for others.” – shared in 2019