Paul Kitchen lives in Rothesay, NB, just outside of Saint John. He retired after 29 years as the Head of School of Rothesay Netherwood School, in 2016. Paul graduated from U of T and taught at Ridley College School and St. Andrew’s College for six years before becoming the Head of RNS for 29 years. Paul continues his work with independent schools as an Onsite Coordinator during school accreditation visits. Paul’s mother was diagnosed with WM in the late 1970’s and passed away in 1983.
Paul was diagnosed with WM in 2014, was treated with Velcade, Dexamethasone and Rituximab for a four month regime and subsequently did two years maintenance treatment. After watching his IGM increasing over the last 16 months, he recently started taking Brukinsa (Zanabrutinib).
Betty is presently a high school teacher for the Toronto District School Board teaching deaf students in American Sign Language. Betty has also served as the Executive Director of Durham Deaf Services – a non-profit organization providing programs and services to support the Deaf community. In other positions she was involved in advocacy, community and organizational development, program development, strategic planning, communications, fundraising and curriculum materials development.
Betty was diagnosed with WM 17 years ago in 2002. Just a few months after her diagnosis, she found the Oakville Support Group – the only WM support group in Canada at the time. Shortly after, she joined the board as Vice President (now Vice Chair) and is now the Toronto Support Group Leader and WMFC Support Group Liaison.
Dave lives in Toronto and has been retired since 2006 after working 52 years in the life insurance industry as an actuary, first with a life insurance company where he was chief actuary, and later at Assuris, which ensures the payment of guaranteed policy benefits of insolvent life insurance companies. Dave’s diagnosis of WM followed a routine medical check-up in 1998, showing a low hemoglobin count, and two years of tests for other possible causes which were all negative. He has been a WMFC Board member since 2011, Secretary of the Board 2012 to 2020, and served as Treasurer since 2013.
Raffaela Mercurio is a retired elementary school primary teacher with over 30 years of experience teaching with the Toronto District School Board. She is currently doing supply teaching and tutoring. She is also the co-author of a wordbook called Word Wiz that beginning writers can use as a tool to gain competence and independence in writing.
When Raffaela was first diagnosed with WM in late 2011, she began regularly attending the Oakville support meetings. She found the meetings very helpful in her WM journey. She became a statutory member in 2014 and then became a member of the board in 2016. She helps organize support group meetings, educational forums and fundraisers. It is her way of giving back to WMFC for all the support given to her over the past years.
After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Business, Cam pursued a career in the retail world, following his love for the outdoors, with Eddie Bauer both in Toronto and Calgary. Life in Calgary dictated a change in careers. After initially starting up a Manufacturing and Wholesale Hot tub and Spa business, which he later sold, he transitioned into the Oil and Gas Business where he successfully spent 30 years, retiring in 2010. After initially working with Dome Petroleum, he joined a succession of junior oil and gas companies and start ups as Vice President of Business Development and concluded his career as an Oil and Gas Consultant.
Diagnosed with WM in 2003, Cam was on Watch and Wait until 2013, when he was treated with combination of Bendamustine/Rituxin. In January 2012, he established and still co-chairs the Alberta WM Support Group and assisted in organizing the Calgary 2015 Education Forum. In addition to WM, he volunteers in various conservation associations involved in wildlife management and habitat restoration.
Joe is a retired Mr. Mom who graduated with master’s degrees in History and in Journalism. In between he closed an industrial plant and worked as a corporate writer. The grad degrees greatly improved his reading ability, permitting him to read and understand “How to Build Your Own House”. And so he built it while serving as Mr. Mom.
Joe was diagnosed with WM in 2002 and promptly searched out a long term clinical trial strategy. He was in three successful clinical trials in Boston with Steve Treon from 2003-2008. In 2009 he finished CVPR at Vancouver General and then proceeded immediately to an unrelated donor stem cell transplant. He lost his wife, Lynn, to ovarian cancer in 2017. He continues to work with cancer patients and has assisted with Canadian Institute of Health Research grant applications for BC Children’s Hospital and BC Cancer.
Jim Mason lives in Maders Cove, overlooking the waters of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Dalhousie University and holds the designation as a Human Resource Professional. In 2011, he retired after 36 years with Royal Bank of Canada. During that time he held various positions of increasing responsibility throughout Atlantic Canada and the South Eastern United States. Jim concluded his career in Halifax, Nova Scotia from the position of Regional Operating Officer for Atlantic Canada.
Diagnosed with WM in February 2009, he was a candidate for immediate treatments, which commenced with several rounds of Plasmapheresis, followed by Rituxin and again by several more rounds of Plasmapheresis prior to 4 cycles of Fludarabine. Five years later he was treated with Cyclophosphamide and Dexamethasone prior to being approved to begin Imbruvica, in August 2016. Jim Co Chairs the Atlantic Canada WM Support Group and Chaired the organizing committee for the 2018 Educational Forum held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition to WM, he has volunteered with numerous boards and organizations throughout the years. Other interests include golf, enjoying boating activities on the waters of Mahone Bay, curling and travelling.