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Cure JM Foundation 2018 National Family Conference Recap

2018 Mason’s Miracle Award

The Kochs with Damon Smedley

The Kochs with Damon Smedley

Denise Koch

Four years ago, Cure JM established this special award in memory of Mason Smedley. Mason was, and continues to be, an inspiration to everyone. He showed great courage and strength in his battle with JM.

Despite his challenges, he had an amazing sense of humor, and his charm instantly won over everyone he met. He was, and will always be, a true hero who has made a difference in countless lives. This award is now given annually to someone who carries on the spirit of Mason, and demonstrates the unfaltering courage, optimism, and perseverance that Mason showed us all.

Since 2013, Denise Koch has been the Cure JM Family Support Network (FSN) Representative for the Midwest states.  Through her role as FSN Representative, Denise has empowered hundreds of families with the critical knowledge and emotional support they need in their journey with JM. In the spring of 2016, Denise stepped up to a new role at Cure JM as President of Cure JM’s first-ever regional chapter in Chicago, Illinois. Through her grit, perseverance, creativity, and passion for supporting families, Denise has helped create a vibrant and successful Chicagoland Chapter of Cure JM. 
Through the Chicago Chapter, Denise has been instrumental in organizing three Chapter Educational Events, several chapter meet & greet and social events, and two exceptional Walk Strong to Cure JM events which have raised over $170,000.

In addition to her role as Chapter President, Denise has stepped forward on countless other Cure JM projects, committees, and fundraisers over the years. 

"Everywhere you look, Denise is involved in supporting, connecting, and advocating for Cure JM families, and she is making a difference every day," observes Damon Smedley, father of Mason Smedley.

"From both Kristen and I, I would like to add that we have seen first-hand the never ending commitment the Koch family has put into raising awareness and funding to find a cure. Mason amazed me every day regardless of what he was up against, he always seemed to find a way to smile. The involvement of families such as the Koch’s is and always will be, a key component to the success of Cure JM. So from our family to theirs - Thank you for your continued commitment and passion to help not only your child but every child that will enter this earth with the unfortunate fate of battling JM. You and your family have given them hope that they will find remission and someday a cure!"