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Cure JM Foundation 2017 National Conference Awards

Cure JM Heroes

April DuleyCure JM Hero April Duley

One year ago, Cure JM mom April Duley stepped forward as the Texas “Walk Strong to Cure JM” Chair.  April has led a team of Cure JM parents, grandparents, and supporters to organize tomorrow’s inaugural Texas “Walk Strong to Cure JM” walk event.  Since 2013 April has been a staple of the Central Texas Cure JM community, organizing the 2014 “Race for Chase” and attending countless Cure JM events and fundraisers over the years. 

April's efforts for tomorrow’s walk have paid off, as the walk is a huge success, raising over $150,000, and is a model for other “Walk Strong to Cure JM” events around the country. We are all extremely grateful to April for her hard work and commitment to improving the future for everyone with JM.

We are pleased to honor April Duley and her family with a Cure JM Hero Award.  Congratulations, April!

Coffey FamilyCure JM Heroes Kevin & Doreen Coffey

The Coffey Family: Kevin, Doreen, Erin, and Maddie are a family of Cure JM Heroes! 

For years they have been an important part of many Cure JM projects and efforts, including the Holiday Challenge fundraising event – through their exceptional participation in the Holiday Challenge they have helped Cure JM raise and win nearly $2 Million dollars for JM research over the last four years. 

In 2016, Kevin and Doreen Coffey enthusiastically volunteers as co-Presidents of one of Cure JM’s first chapters in New York.  They have planned an educational event with 3 New York pediatric rheumatologists (including Cure JM grantee Dr. Wahezi) and are an integral part of planning the upcoming “Walk Strong to Cure JM” in New York on May 13th.  “Team Maddie” also recently held a “Sip & Paint” fundraiser which raised over $10,000. 

The energy, commitment and perseverance of the Coffey family are an inspiration to us all.

We are pleased to award The Coffey Family: Kevin, Doreen, Erin and Maddie, a Cure JM Hero Award. 

Sharon OrtegaCure JM Heroes Sharon & Martin Ortega

A quote that I think of when I think of this family is “if you need something done, ask a busy person.”  This family has taken that saying to a whole new level!  When their youngest daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Myositis in January of 2016, this family jumped into making a difference with both feet. 

Every time you turn around they are holding another event to benefit Cure JM and JM research and support other Cure JM families.  The long list of fundraisers includes selling homemade dog treats, organizing school walk-a-thons, birthday parties, gift wrapping events, Valentines Parties and even enlisting their child’s principal to duct-tape himself to a wall as a fundraiser.

In addition to holding dozens and dozens of big and small events, this family has been an integral part of Cure JM’s first regional chapter in Chicago.  They have arranged the location for chapter events and stepped forward as Chicago Chapter Fundraising Chair.  They are also an important part of rallying Cure JM families and the community to walk in the Chicago “Walk Strong to Cure JM” in May.  This family has put together 5 walk teams and will have over 100 people “Walking Strong” with them, including a local Chicago PD union.  This family has jumped in and demonstrated over and over again that one family can make a big – or should I say “Mega” -- difference for their child. 

We are pleased to award a Cure JM Hero Award to the “Mega Ortegas”, Sharon, Martin, Melinda, and Myranda Ortega -- and all of “The Mega Ortegas.”

MichelleCure JM Hero Michelle Best and Family

This hero award goes to a family who has shown exceptional willingness to jump in and roll up their sleeves and make a difference.  Since 2007, this family has been active in countless ways, stepping forward every time Cure JM needs help with a project, conference, or fundraiser! 

The entire Best family has participated in dozens of running races around the country, raising funds and spreading awareness of Cure JM.  They have participated in countless Cure JM conferences, projects, fundraisers and contests.

In 2016, Michelle Best stepped forward as the President of Cure JM’s new “Washington D.C. Chapter.” Michelle co-organized the first-ever DC Chapter Educational Conference in May of 2016 featuring Dr. Rodolfo Curiel, Dr. Lisa Rider, Dr. Olcay Jones and Dr. Hanna Kim.  Michelle is also a regular “Patient/Parent-Navigator” volunteer at the GW Clinic.  The Bests have all participated in the Cure JM DC Chapter events over the last year and are an important part of the upcoming “Walk Strong to Cure JM” coming up in D.C. in June.  This family has demonstrated over and over again how one family’s commitment to making JM research possible can truly make a difference. 

We are pleased to award Michelle Best and her family — Lang, Joseph, James, and John — a Cure JM Hero Award.

MeaganCure JM Hero Meagan McDevitt

For the past year, Meagan has been working on planning the “Camp JM”-themed Kids’ Fun Camp at the 2017 National Conference in Austin, Texas.

Megan recruited a team of volunteers to make “Camp JM” a day of fun and new friendship.  Over 70 kids enjoyed “Camp JM” while their parents attended educational sessions.

“It was an honor to put together this camp,” says Megan. “These kids go through so much, they deserve an unforgettable day of fun!”

We are pleased to award a Cure JM Hero Award to Meagan McDevitt.

Below is a recording of the Hero Award ceremony:

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