NGF Community Blog

Meet Our Ambassadors

The National Gaucher Foundation just announced our first Ambassador cohort. Meet the elite group below.

We asked…”What inspires you to live a better today?”

Kelly Burns
Rhode Island

“Choosing what I love, and what inspires me to live a better today, is family. Family has been behind a lot of major changes recently in my life. From career changes to choosing better options in pain management.   Always putting family first is my top priority.”  

 


Carrie Choate
Missouri

“My three children and husband are reason enough to live a better today. I want to be able to enjoy every second of their life and feel healthy and good while living my own with my family.”


Rebecca Cooperman
Florida

“Spending time with my two children (and husband) is what I love to do best. Whether it’s bike riding to Starbucks for a treat, watching a movie on the couch or enjoying a home cooked meal as a family, there is nothing I would rather do!”


Ilaina Davidson
California

“I love to spend time with my husband Josh and two daughters Rebecca (9-1/2) and Abby (7-1/2) as well as extended family who live near us. We enjoy going to the park, listening to music, visiting our local library, playing with friends, cooking and baking, playing the piano, and having lemonade stands. Rebecca and Abby are my heroes. They have grit and they are good people. I am inspired by their strength, perseverance, and huge hearts.”


Lauren Edwards
Maryland

“My faith and my family are what inspire me to live a better today. Knowing that every day is not promised, I make a conscious effort not to take things for granted. I am thankful for my family and friends, my job, my home and despite having Gaucher Disease, I am thankful for my health, among many other things. My wonderful family serves as my encouragement and inspiration, and it is because of them that I’m able to keep going, even when things get tough.”

 


Ana and Eric Garay
New Mexico

“At the time of our two children’s diagnosis, we had no idea what to expect, where to go, who to turn to for information. My wife Ana and myself, made a decision early on. We could have curled up into depression, struggled to come to terms with our new reality, or we could take charge and turn our situation into something positive. This is when we set out to become not only advocates for our children, but also Gaucher Disease.”


Anya Gelernt-Dunkle
Massachusetts

“Spending time with my husband and dog is my main hobby/joy/favorite thing to do.”

 

 


Eva Gelernt
Massachusetts

“I love taking risks and am a huge adrenaline-junkie, so anything that fits those categories is up my alley!”

 


Nate Kleytman
New York

“As a zealous Biology geek, I enjoy reading the latest science news and sharing it with whoever wants to listen. I also enjoy riding my bike, exploring the streets of NYC and spotting birds along the way.

Knowledge and the potential for bringing joy to someone are the primary drivers of my ultimate goal.”


Rebekah Masters
New Jersey

“In addition to teaching, I enjoy acting, volunteering, and advocating for the causes I am passionate about.”


Leanna Mullen
New Jersey

“My health was a major factor in why I dropped out of college a few years ago. I took my education and my health for granted. Once I focused and my health improved, I set out to be “the best me I can be.” I have completed my bachelors and master’s degrees, and I am now a doctoral student and have a bright future in a career I am passionate about. I’ve learned a balance and I feel empowered telling others they can find a balance, too.”

 


Jade Murray
Florida

“I love health, wellness and positivity. One silver lining of Gaucher Disease is that it has pushed me to make the most of my life and my well-being — eating right, exercising, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, having healthy habits and a positive mindset. My experiences have also helped me inspire others with similar struggles, as well as connected me to some truly incredible people I wouldn’t have otherwise met had it not been for this unique journey. With the ups and downs of the treatment cycle, life is different day to day, but a positive mindset and healthy lifestyle helps me live my best today, no matter the circumstances.”

 

 


Lauren Potter
Utah

“My husband’s name is Ryan my daughters’ names are JoDee and Trulee. My son’s name is Dustin. I love to be with my family every chance, we love to go camping and hunting and fishing. What inspires me to live a better today? Live my life to the fullest and serve others in their time of need.”

 

 


Michele Pryor
Pennsylvania

“I love to travel, enjoy nature and find inspiration for my creative pursuits in the world around me. One of my favorite sayings is, “Vivez la réve” means “live the dream,” which I am able to do with the health I am blessed with!”


Michelle Zuckerman
New Jersey

“I live in NJ with my husband Evan and my two beautiful daughters. Lindsay, 15, has Type 1 Gaucher Disease, and Hailey, 13, is a carrier like my husband and myself. I love spending precious time with my family, traveling, reading a good book, and volunteering my time to organizations and causes that I am passionate about. I am the Synagogue Administrator for the Pine Brook Jewish Center in Montville, NJ. Our family is looking forward to Hailey’s Bat Mitzvah on September 22nd!”

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