Michele Milota, Sacramento, CA—Executive Director – After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in information and communication studies from Chico State University in 1989, Michele worked in the sales, television and education field. She brings passion, creativity, boundless energy, and many contacts to her work for the XP. Michele is the mother of four children, one has XP.
Todd Feltner, Washington, UT—Chairman of the Board and Treasurer – Todd is a certified public accountant with expertise in business services and taxation with an emphasis of non-profit sector. He has worked in the industry for 9 years. Todd received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from Southern Utah University. He is the father of five children and two of his children have XP.
Jennifer Feltner, Washington, UT – Jennifer owns her own dance studio and has over 150 students enrolled. She also has a degree in cosmetology. She is an active leader in her community and church and she is a mother of five children, two of whom have XP.
Sarah Madden, El Dorado, KS – Treasurer—Sarah is the Office Manager and Accountant for Butler Rural Electric Cooperative. She received her bachelor’s of science degree in Accounting from Emporia State University. She is the treasurer for the First Christian Church in El Dorado. She is the mother of two children, one of whom has XP.
Kyle Madden-El Dorado Kansas– Kyle Madden teaches high school math and social studies at Bluesten High School and mathematics at Butler Community College. He received his Bachelors of Education an Emporia State University and his Masters in Sports Administration from Wichita State University. He is the father of an XP
Alan Jakovac, Milton, ON—Alan has worked in communications for more than 20 years working for international and boutique public relations agencies and as a consultant. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario. Alan is the father of two children, one of whom has XP.
Miranda Murphy – Albuquerque, New Mexico. Miranda is a beauty and special effects makeup artist who works on tv and movie productions in and around New Mexico. She has two children, Lucas and Lila. Her daughter Lila has XPD.
Cindy Cassinat, Gilbert, AZ – Cindy is a Computed Tomography (CT) Technologist at a Trauma 1 medical center. She received her degree in Radiography from Pima Medical Institute and received a certificate in Computed Tomography at Gateway Community College. She loves spending time with her 6 grandchildren. She is the mother of 4 children, one has XPA.
Laura Niedernhofer, M.D., Ph.D. joined the University of Minnesota in 2018 to create and direct a new Institute on the Biology of Aging & Metabolism. She is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at UMN. Dr. Niedernhofer’s scientific expertise is in DNA damage and repair, genome instability syndromes like XP, cellular senescence and aging. Prior to moving to Minneapolis, Laura was at The Scripps Research Institute, where she helped spearhead identification of a new class of drugs called senolytics. These are drugs that kill damaged, festering senescent cells. The hope is that senolytics will have beneficial effects in XP to delay neurodegeneration, hearing loss, premature menopause and other symptoms that can be viewed as accelerated aging. Ideally, senolytics will delay age-related decline in the elderly as well.
Laura studied chemistry at Duke University, physiology at Georgetown University, and completed the medical scientist training program at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Her post-doctoral training was at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where she learned to make mouse models of genome instability syndromes like XP. She has been attending meetings for XP families since 2003.
My name is Erich James. I’m married to my high school sweetheart and we have been a couple since 1999. Our daughter’s name is Alexis James and she was born in 2009. She was diagnosed with XP type C at the age of 2 just before she turned 3 years old. I’ve been a teacher since 2006 and did mostly construction for a career before that. Right now I’m a teacher for the Nisqually Indian Tribe with their Early Head Start program. But in recent years I was a Child Visitation Specialist for Child Protective Services in Washington State and worked for our Nations Department of Defense (Army) as a preschool teacher. I’m the president of our homeowner’s association and a proud board member of XP Family Support Group. I feel truly blessed to be a part of such an important nonprofit that does so much for our community of families