Upon completing my Business Administration degree, I began a career as an Import and Export Broker, a career that spanned 15 years. Since then, I have spent 20 years in childcare and education. For the past five years, I have owned, operated, and directed my own childcare facility in Raleigh, North Carolina, and for the past three years, I have been helping my daughter fight Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, doing my own research, educating others, planning, and building a support group and community as it relates to this nightmarish disease of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Because I have dealt so extensively with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I am able to identify signs of a child who may have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, at which point I recommend to the parents that they see a doctor to be tested for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Claudette Purrier has been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for over 30 years, providing hands-on nursing care to patients, residents, clients, and customers in a variety of health care settings. It is her experience in patient care, her direct experience with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients, and her connections to a multitude of health care settings and the medical and healthcare professionals therein that makes her a perfect candidate to sit on The Andrea Foundation for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Board of Directors. She will be very instrumental in helping us spread information throughout the medical community and helping us to get participation in our fundraisers, conferences, workshops, and other events.
Yvonne Watson is a Supervisor for New York City Transit. She was formerly an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for three years, and, for 20 years, she worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Saving lives is always important, and the ability to do so is even more important. Her background and experience in saving lives, in patient care, and in management and business makes her an ideal candidate for our foundation’s board of directors. She will serve a pivotal role in educating the public on emergency response as it relates to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients as well as the role as liaison to the emergency response, medical, and business communities.
Christine Maldonado is a Certified Nursing Assistant who has worked with special needs children patients for over 25 years. She has a passion for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients, since the passing of her cousin who died of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Ms. Maldonado ability to serve as a liaison between our foundation and the medical and special needs communities will be invaluable for increasing awareness to hospital systems, patients’ families, schools, and directly to the public. Her experience in working with special needs children and patients translates perfectly for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients and will enable her to also educate patients’ families in Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patient care.
Lorna Wyche is a Holistic Practitioner with five years’ work experience as a Nutritional and Digestive Specialist. She also has 18 years’ experience as a Restaurant Manager. Her work includes devising nutritional and dietary plans for clients, providing deep muscle massages, and resetting joints for adults and children in nursing homes. Ms. Wyche’s work makes her a unique board member in that she is knowledgeable about the joint dislocations that plague Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients, but also because she is fully qualified to educate Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients and their families about diet and foods that can strengthen tendons, ligaments, cartilages, and, therefore, joints. Her background makes her our foundation’s liaison to the Food, Nutrition, and Digestive Science community.
Malek Ali has worked in the childcare field for over five years. He is a handyman and “jack of all trades” who have proven he can be a very valuable asset to any organization to which he belongs. He has met people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and witnessed the severity of the disease, first hand. He has experience transporting patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and helping them lead lives that are as normal as possible. Mr. Ali has grown and is still growing into a major role in educating families in how to lead “normal,” functional lives as or with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome patients, particularly as it relates to mobility and physical capabilities.