FND Hope International Board Members
Bridget Mildon, is President and Founder of FND Hope. FND Hope is the first non-profit organization specifically for those diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder and related illnesses.
Kyle is the co-founder of T1D Exchange. T1D Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to advance research in chronic diseases, facilitate greater industry collaboration, build a common registry-based data exchange platform and bring together a community that allows better understanding of patient interactions.
Holly Graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1996. Holly has held various positions throughout her nursing career including: Emergency Room, OB, Medical/Surgical floor, Outpatient clinic, Quality Assurance, Outpatient therapies, Discharge Planning, Chemotherapy, and for the last 4 years Home Health Nurse. “Home Health has given me a holistic approach to nursing as you see every aspect of your patient’s lives. Nurses in Home Health are there to support patients in so many more ways than just their Diagnosis.”
Lauren is a senior-level marketing and business development professional, multi-faceted, innovative, and creative marketing strategist extremely accomplished in the development of high-impact campaigns that deliver dramatic gains in revenue, visibility, and market share.
Terri is a longstanding local business owner in her community. Terri recently retired from the insurance industry where she worked for over 30 years.
Robert is a proud Welshman, something he rarely lets people forget. He has been a practicing barrister-at-law since 1977, before which he read for a degree in chemical engineering. His legal practice started in intellectual property (on which he is the co-author of a number of reference books) then developed into licensing technology, mostly in a hi-tech environment, complex international commercial contracts, international law, telecommunications and data protection.
FND Hope UK Board Members
FND Hope UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (no 1173607). We promote awareness of FND through education and raising public understanding in England and Wales. We are dedicated to supporting those individuals affected with functional symptoms by advancing research into practical applications for the prevention, treatment and recovery of FND. We are uniting patients and their families from the UK with leading researchers and advocates to pioneer a new standard of care for FND throughout the world.
Our mission is to promote awareness, support affected individuals, and advance research. We drive ethical patient centred care while empowering patients to better health.
You can find out more about FND Hope UK here
FND HOPE CANADA BOARD MEMBERS
International Event Director
The Netherlands Representative
Marieke van de Ree
Marieke van de Ree has been an experienced project manager and consultant in innovation & marketing communication for over 30 years. She specialised in education, government, health care & business. Her motto has always been ‘making it actually happen, even the impossible’.
Marieke is driven, practical and flexible and thrives in changing or complex situations. She is highly skilled in change management, innovative solutions for HRM & personal development and communication. She had a political career with “Democraten 66” (D66), a Dutch political party of social liberal signature, which was founded in 1966. She was leader of D66 and Member in the Frisian provincial States.
Marieke loves travelling and art. She is member of the board of a theatre group for children. She also takes care of the large oeuvre of art works in oil painting and bronze, left by her father, a scientist and artist who died in 2012.
Marieke speaks four languages and has an elaborate network, in the Netherlands and in Europe, of contacts in education, health care, government, politics and business.
Marieke also played a significant role in the following documentary, Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) - an introduction
Meet More Volunteer Team Members
FND Hope International Human Resource Coordinator
Christina holds an Associate’s degree in graphic design from Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. Unable to find work in this highly competitive field after graduation, she worked as a nanny for several years. She then found her calling working with animals at a nationally known boarding facility.
Crushed after this job abruptly ended, Christina later enrolled in a veterinary technician training program. After completing a rigorous prerequisite chemistry course for entrance to this program, she began experiencing medically unexplained symptoms which led to the diagnosis of Conversion Disorder in August 2012.
Christina has firsthand experience of falling through the cracks of the medical system and has learned to navigate this complicated system on her own to seek the care she needed. Christina brings to FND Hope: exceptional organizational skills, uncanny attention to detail, an ability to communicate well with others, and a passion to help others.
FND Hope International Office Manager
Megan has an extensive working history in all areas of Administration, Photography, Sales/Marketing, Recruitment, and Training, across a diversity of industries. She has a passion for making a difference in other people's lives, through education or something as simple as giving someone a reason to smile.
Megan states, "I have an enormous amount of gratitude for FND Hope, for all the reassurance, positivity, informative information and support the FND Australia and International facebook groups have provided since navigating life with FND. When the opportunity to give back arose, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this amazing family/organisation."
FND Hope International
Amy completed an undergraduate degree in Medical Science at The University of Birmingham, UK. Then, Amy completed a Master’s of Research in Experimental Neuroscience at Imperial College, London and completed her Ph.D. at The University of Manchester. She is particularly interested in Neuroscience and how the brain ‘talks’ to the rest of the body in a range of different disease states and disorders. Amy is passionate about Science and research communication and is keen to use her research background and knowledge to bring cutting edge clinical and laboratory research to the FND community and wider society.
FND Hope International
Rachel was recently diagnosed in 2019 with FND following as the result of a stroke after traveling for science competitions around Europe. Since then, she has lost function of her legs, and various functional symptoms pop up from time to time. Despite Rachel’s exposure to illness at a young age battling POTS, Scheurmann’s Disease, JIA and now FND, Rachel has worked multiple jobs including working with English professors in university, restaurants, and coaching football teams. Rachels has lived in both England and America making her familiar with both cultures and healthcare systems. Rachel runs a chronic illness blog on Instagram! In her free time, Rachel loves to read and write and states “music is a massive part of my life.” Currently, she is focused on school in between various volunteer work opportunities. She is studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Plymouth and hopes to move on to continue neuroscience research and genetic counseling in England.
Judie Benwick is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and holds Masters degrees in Health Science and Community Health from the University of North Florida. As part of her graduate studies, she completed a research internship at Mayo Clinic Florida where she investigated the effects of multidisciplinary ALS Clinic care on the family caregiver experience. She is currently employed by The ALS Association Florida Chapter as a Regional Program Manager, assisting people with ALS and their family members with resources to live more easily with the disease. Prior to joining The ALS Association, Judie was self-employed as a licensed public insurance adjuster, resolving complex medical insurance claim issues for hospital and physician clients…a skillset she continues to use in her current job to guide individuals who are facing health insurance challenges.
Sara is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with a B.A. in Mathematics. After working in corporate America for 15 years, and the last nine years with FND, Sara decided to leave the corporate world to work on her blog, Managing Chronic. Managing Chronic offers support and resources to help chronically ill working professionals find work/life balance while managing their chronic illness.
Through FND Hope, Sara found hope, support, and the resources to live a better life with FND. She now raises awareness and advocates for FND and individuals who work while chronically ill.
Kerri lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and two children, and loves camping, cooking, and sewing. Her professional background is in project management, town planning and the education sector.
On a Friday night in late August 2018, aged in her late forties, she began seizing and numerous other symptoms, and within 7 days in hospital was diagnosed with FND. After being discharged with a website to learn more about the illness, she was adamant from day one that more was needed for patient information and peer to patient support. Kerri and her husband had to advocate for themselves to find FND appropriate care and to research the details of the illness. Whilst still on the road to recovery, she is turning the ‘curse’ of FND into a positive opportunity to set up her own digital marketing business.
She loves getting involved in community activities, especially those involving the school and sporting activities of her children. Increasing the awareness of FND both in Australia and globally is now an important addition to Kerri’s community advocacy. In particular, she is passionate about increasing the level of awareness of FND – to the medical profession and the general population, but also increases the level of understanding of the illness of FND itself so that patients and their carers are better equipped for recovery. She is writing a book from a patient perspective for other patients to improve chances of successful and sustained recovery. Kerri believes that FND peer support will play a vital role in reducing hospital admissions and increasing the quality of life for FND sufferers and their families.
UK Patient Support
As UK Patient Support, Sal House is a master at juggling a lot of different responsibilities. Her responsibilities include: researching support groups and hospitals for patients with FND in the UK, researching PiP and other benefits, helping members find ways to keep track of their medications, exercise and appointments, update doctor’s email addresses and distributes pamphlets and awareness bracelets. On a personal note, Sal recently got her local hospital to put up an FND Hope poster which we all consider to be a huge success.
Sal also has a secondary position as an Admin for our FND Hope UK Functional Neurological Disorder group and our Main group, FND Hope Functional Neurological Disorder. She enjoys volunteering and feels that the members of these groups have helped her in dealing with her FND and given her a better understanding FND.
Sal was a passionate and devoted carer for the elderly and disabled and was working on her National Vocational Qualifications when in 2012 she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In 2016, after suffering years of unexplained seizures and tremors, she was diagnosed with FND.
Sal has three children and two granddaughters. Sal’s hobbies include music, watching her favorite TV programs, adult coloring, reading and gardening.
International Online Support Director
Australian, Lexie Trost, has accepted the position of Online Support Director. Lexie, with the help of a great admin team, provides support to patients from around the world through various online peer to peer FND Hope sponsored support groups. We thank Lexie and her team for volunteering to assist others in their FND journey.
Claire resides in Ireland and worked in childcare before becoming unwell with FND. Claire joined our FND Hope Facebook support groups for peer to peer support where her care and compassion were greatly appreciated by our members and other volunteers. Claire was offered the role of Moderator for our Facebook group, Mind Body Soul. Claire then accepted the role of Admin for our USA/Canada group, our Main group and our Australia/New Zealand groups. After 2 years as a valued Facebook Admin and Moderator, Claire accepted the role of Facebook Manager.
Claire’s personal journey with FND is one of great inspiration, determination and courage. Claire was wheelchair-bound for over a year and a half and during that time Claire dreamed of climbing Croagh Patrick Mountain. Claire promised herself if she could ever walk again, she was going to climb that mountain! Then on November 16th last year, Claire took her first step unaided, a true milestone in her FND journey. Claire is now fulfilling her long-held dream in July 2018 and climbing Croagh Patrick Mountain! To celebrate her climb, Claire is donating all monies raised to FND Hope.
Claire is a proud and devoted mother of three children and her fur baby Taz!
We want to thank all our volunteers including those not listed.